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Sports

Tab’s imprint on 17-man Gilas pool

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin himself came up with the wish list of 17 players for the national team that will represent the country at the Olympic qualifying tournament in July next year but Al Panlilio, who sits in the PBA Board of Governors as Meralco senior vice president, said the other day there were 21 names in the initial pool.

Panlilio and PBA chairman Robert Non were in close contact to agree on the parameters of collaboration between the PBA and SBP two weeks ago. At first, a pool of 11 players plus five reserves was suggested with one slot for naturalized player Andray Blatche. But Non pushed for a 12-man team plus five reserves for every position so the lineup went from 16 to 17, excluding Blatche.

“I briefed (SBP president) MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) on the agreement to name the players in a pool with the PBA’s full support and he was elated,” said Panlilio. “We brought in (lawyer) Marivic (Anonuevo) to draft a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the terms and conditions of the collaboration and phoned coach Tab who was in Greece to attend his sister-in-law’s wedding. Coach Tab asked for a little time to put together his wish list.”            

Panlilio said Baldwin submitted an initial list of 21 players but later trimmed it to 17. Named to the pool were seven players from the squad that saw action at the FIBA Asia Championships in Changsha recently – Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva and Matt Ganuelas. Missing from the lineup were Changsha veterans Asi Taulava, J. C. Intal, Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss and reserves Gary David, Jimmy Alapag and Moala Tautuaa. The others in the pool are JuneMar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar, L. A. Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Paul Lee, Greg Slaughter, Ryan Reyes, Ian Sangalang and Changsha reserve Troy Rosario.

Panlilio said the pool of 17 would be called to start once-a-week, Monday practices next month. “We’re looking at a total of 28 weeks of getting together,” he continued. “The second conference will end May 27 but that’s assuming every playoff series will go the distance so it’s possible we could finish by the middle of May. The PBA will adjust the start of the third conference until after the Olympic qualifying tournament. The entire month of June will be set aside for training.”

Panlilio said he submitted the names of Baldwin’s 17 players to the PBA in a special Board of Governors meeting last Wednesday. There were no objections whatsoever. “All the team owners agreed to release the players to the pool,” he said. “We spoke about coach Tab and going through a period of adjustment to work together. The PBA is supporting this exercise 100 percent. Of course, this only has to do with the Olympic qualifying tournament. Eventually, we’ll tackle what is needed for the new FIBA World Cup qualifying system which begins in November 2017.”

Baldwin, who arrived from Greece last Wednesday, has been signed to a five-year contract by the SBP to coach the national team. He is also a coaching consultant with Talk ‘N’ Text in the PBA. Baldwin has coached New Zealand in two FIBA World Cups and Lebanon in another FIBA World Cup and was a Gilas consultant in the FIBA World Cup last year so he has participated in four FIBA World Cups. He took Jordan to second place at the FIBA Asia Championships in 2011 and the Philippines to second place at the FIBA Asia Championships in Changsha last month.

Panlilio declined to name the four players who were in Baldwin’s initial wish list of 21 and were excluded in the pool of 17.  One of the four played in Changsha and another suited up at the FIBA Asia Championships in 2013. It’s possible the pool of 17 may be adjusted depending on the progress of training.

To oversee the preparations for the Olympic qualifying tournament, an ad-hoc committee made up of representatives from the PBA and SBP will be formed. The PBA has named former PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ‘N’ Text, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon of Rain Or Shine and commissioner Chito Narvasa to sit in the pro league’s behalf. The SBP will appoint four representatives to complete the lineup of the ad-hoc committee.

 

ACIRC

ASIA CHAMPIONSHIPS

BALDWIN

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

CHANGSHA

FIBA

NBSP

PANLILIO

PBA

POOL

WORLD CUP

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