Ateneo program favors player development, not championships â Baldwin
Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin
Ateneo program favors player development, not championships – Baldwin
Luisa Morales ( - September 25, 2020 - 2:01pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles have been the kings of the UAAP men's basketball tournament for the past three years.

But collecting championship rings isn't the top priority for the Katipunan-based squad, at least according to three-peat architect Tab Baldwin.

Speaking to the media earlier this week about his fresh senior team recruits in high school stars Forthsky Padrigao and Joshua Lazaro, Baldwin insisted that player development is of the utmost importance to the Eagles, not whether or not they finish atop the standings.

"We see our program, not about what Forthsky and Josh are going to do to help us be successful, we see our program from their eyes: What are we going to be able to do to help them be successful," said Baldwin.

"We see our program as part of a continuum of the player's life... So whether Ateneo Blue Eagles are champions or not is not our priority, as you've heard me say so many times," he added.

The mutli-titled coach sees his players not as an investment for a trophy or a gold medal, rather as an opportunity to mold and develop the next biggest stars in the court.

"Our priority is that we move these players along the continuum of their pathway to professionalism, and that means, we are a tool for them," he said.

"It means the Ateneo Blue Eagles program exists as part of that continuum for the player, and I think in many ways that's why we are attractive to a lot of players because they all want to be successful," he added.

With a bulk of Ateneo Blue Eagles alumni going into professional basketball like Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena, it seems like Baldwin's vision for his team has come to fruition.

And while it may not be the priority for the program, the continuous influx of great talent and player development still puts Ateneo as the team to beat.

For Baldwin and the Blue Eagles, that seems to be just the icing on the cake.

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