Tab Baldwin eyes FIBA Asia gold, Rio Olympics stint for Gilas
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2014 - 7:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -- New Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said he has inherited a national team with a good structure and sound program, making him confident of a crack at top honors in the coming FIBA Asia Championship and a stint in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“I’m very excited as this team is in good shape. The program is in good shape,” said Baldwin, the man tapped to take over the Gilas rein from coach Chot Reyes.

“My greatest desire is to bring justice to this job,” added Baldwin, expressing deep hope of fulfilling his mandate and achieving the country’s dream of a return in the Olympics in 2016 and a second straight appearance in the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

“I want to see Gilas Pilipinas in Rio and gold medals hanging our necks in the FIBA qualifiers,” said Baldwin as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas formally announced his appointment as the new Team Phl head coach before Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup Final Four duel between Talk n Text and San Miguel Beer.

As of Monday night, Baldwin was still part of the Talk n Text coaching staff as consultant.

“We are in discussion about the point,” said Baldwin regarding his release from Talk n Text to concentrate on his job with the national team.

He said the Philippines has a lot of talented players and it gives him much optimism in forming a competitive team.

“This country has full of talents especially in guards,” he said.

On the selection process, Baldwin said: “That’s a very important process. I don’t want to do that alone.”

Present in the occasion was PBA commissioner Chito Salud who reiterated the pro league’s full support to the national cage federation with regards the national team program.

Salud mentioned the recent PBA board approval amending the PBA Season 40 calendar to open a longer window period for Gilas Pilipinas to prepare for the 2015 Asian meet set in Wuhan, China. 

“We're way ahead. From the time (SBP president) Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan decided to undertake a selection process of a new coach, the PBA immediately discussed a compression of schedule. We moved the end of the season from Aug. 7 to third week of July. It will be a good 9-10 weeks training for the national team,” said Salud.

SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas said Baldwin will be in charge of the entire national cage program.

AS OF MONDAY ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP BALDWIN CHITO SALUD CHOT REYES GAME THREE GILAS PILIPINAS MR. MANNY V NEW GILAS PILIPINAS PHILIPPINE CUP FINAL FOUR
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