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Tab Baldwin Interview Resurfaces After PBA’s Drubbing at EASL

Tab Baldwin
James Francisco

Was Tab Baldwin right all along?

PBA officials might downplay the league’s dismal performance at the East Asia Super League (EASL) in Japan. But the same outcome remains: stacked Filipino champion clubs got wrecked by their international counterparts as if they had no business being invited in the first place.

Granted, both TNT and San Miguel’s imports were recent additions with few days of practice. June Mar Fajardo was out as well. But semantics barely matter for a country that lives and breathes basketball. Not when the four losses saw huge deficits: TNT by 33 and 11 points, SMB by 28 and 55.

Amidst the criticism of the PBA is the revival of statements made by Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin on its supposedly outdated practices, coaching, and format. The Olympic tactician appeared on the Tiebreaker podcast in 2020 and was fined PHP 75,000 on top of a three-game suspension.

Baldwin, who led his native New Zealand to multiple medal finishes overseas, would be heavily criticized by SMC Director Alfrancis Chua, Letran coach Bonnie Tan, and then-Northport coach Pido Jarencio. Jarencio called Baldwin an “arrogant prick.”

Fast forward to 2023, Baldwin appears justified – if you’re going by the litany of comments on social media.

“Tab Baldwin vindicated! PBA teams are mediocre playing outside their comfort zone and own backyard,” said one commenter. “If only there was a genius coach from Ateneo who gave PBA advice on how to improve internationally,” said another. One praised the players but was critical of the league.Mukhang totoo nga ang sinasabi ni Tab Baldwin sa PBA. Sa totoo lang, magagaling ang players sa PBA, ang sistema ang problema.

But what exactly did Tab Baldwin say that seemingly made him a savant to Filipino audiences, and a thorn for PBA officials?

On Philippine coaching

“The thing that annoys me, and the biggest surprise to me, was the “tactical immaturity” of the Philippines basketball coaches. 

[What I mean by that is] they are significantly unaware of the tactical advancements and systemic advancements of coaching systems coming out of Europe, which is built on the backs of player development.”

On imports and conferences

“In the PBA, we have three conferences. Two of those conferences are single import conferences. This [format] is a big mistake; we should never have a single import playing on a team. 

Further, we should never have an import that is given all of the rules latitudes… by the referees and the administration of the PBA. 

I do believe it is by the administration, and I do believe that it is based on the desire to have superstars as a marketing tool for the PBA. “

The supposed “superstar” treatment of imports

“Put it in layman’s terms, a foul for a local player isn’t a foul on an import [and vice versa].

So our local players are competitively disadvantaged in their ability to compete against the import players, and this is not the case in other countries.”

On running offenses through imports

“[Imports] are given all the advantages.

The PBA coaches are smart, and they’re good basketball coaches, but they could be much better if they were forced to coach much more, then they would show their real talents.

Because of the way our imports are treated here, it’s not sound thinking for a coach to not exploit what’s obvious to every PBA coach, and that is to run your offensive system through your import.

You are getting an extraordinary amount of free throws through the imports. You get an extraordinary amount of easy basket opportunities through the import, and you get an extraordinary amount of situations where the local players literally get out of the way of the imports.”

On the PBA system

“I think that system creates a false landscape for our basketball coaches and our basketball players and I think it needs to be changed sooner rather than later.”

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Omar
Omar
11 months ago

Totoo naman talaga sabi ni tad Baldwin,,,,
. Bakit masakit ba tanggapin al Chua,???, switik ka kasi kala mo magaling sa LAHAT lampa kayo pag sa labas ng terretoryo nyo

Madxii
Madxii
11 months ago

It doesn’t take a professional coach to notice the flaws. Tab was right all along. The first time he handled the Gilas team was evidently one of the chapters in Ph basketball where the nation saw outright discipline in their plays and their skills development. I’d rather watch the UAAP than the PBA if I’m looking for real competition. PBA is Puro Business Alam.

Hesawell
Hesawell
11 months ago
Reply to  Madxii

PBA – Puro mga Bobong Amateur ika nga ng iba

Jake
Jake
10 months ago
Reply to  Madxii

I agree with you bro, business oriented league.

Jun
Jun
11 months ago

Chua and minions Tan & Jarencio do not have the intelligence it takes to understand a smart coach like Baldwin. They’re too onion-skinned like the PBA commissioner.

Jake
Jake
10 months ago
Reply to  Jun

Correct ka jan bro, masakit but the truth really hurts

Jherson Rama
Jherson Rama
11 months ago

We need tab back in the gilas program, anyways he started it right, but the thing is somebody is trailblazing poorly.

Yakal Giron
Yakal Giron
11 months ago

I call the PBA a big joke. I use to watch this game. Now I favor soccer and other athletic activities.

Edwin Floresta
Edwin Floresta
11 months ago

PBA…HEHEHE hindi na ako nanunuod niyan. Sayang oras.

Ding
Ding
11 months ago
Reply to  Edwin Floresta

Ako sa ending na ng laro nanunuod. Para lang alamin sino nanalo.🫣🤭

Mario Ernani M. Macalos
Mario Ernani M. Macalos
11 months ago
Reply to  Ding

Same with me sir! Lalo na pag mahihinang teams at ang kalaban ay SMB sister teams I don’t bother to watch kasi parang mga Filipino telenovela. Predictable na ang ending!

Chapo
Chapo
11 months ago
Reply to  Ding

Me also, sa end game Lang nanonood kung may taya(bet money) lang ako sa ending.

Jim B
Jim B
11 months ago

I totally agree with Tab Baldwin’s observation, our local players talent deteriorates when they join the PBA because our coaches wants to copy the NBA brand of basketball that focuses on one on one on their franchise players. Honestly, I no longer watch the PBA because it is a waste of time, I prefer watching college balls like UAAP and NCAA although the recent development of big sponsors supporting a collegiate team in running the collegiate sports program is already a sign of an ugly head looming around the corner into making profit out of the collegiate league.

Sportsman
Sportsman
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim B

The PBA is no longer the same as it used to be twenty years or so ago. It’s a deteriorating league. Because of the PBA we are well behind in international basketball. Imagine we are no longer No. 1 in Southeast Asia!

Ester
Ester
11 months ago

Tab Baldwin is greatly right, but our local coaches are too proud and to ignore the truth, that pulls the promising players down due to their system. I love to watch basketball but I no longer watch PBA. It’s even better to watch UAAP & NCAA.

Mon Gelido
Mon Gelido
11 months ago

I have nothing against our Filipino coaches but it seems coach Tab is right all along..he just say his piece not to down our coaches, but it’s the truth and we should believe, what with his vast of international experience..he’s just sharing his observations and it’s the truth.

Bestwrapperalive
Bestwrapperalive
11 months ago

His name is BALDwin for a reason

Vhen Detta
Vhen Detta
11 months ago

PBA – Palaos na Basketball Association.
Pera pera na lang. Kaya Ginebra na magchachampion in the next 5 yrs. Triple triple double double grandslam para makahakot ng pera sa liga.

Epi ilao
Epi ilao
11 months ago
Reply to  Vhen Detta

papogihan n lng laro sa pba kaya nakakaantok panoorin alam n kng cno mananalo bkit k p manood….buti pa uaap suspens ang laro lalo kng coaching ni tab baldwin.

Noikulas
Noikulas
10 months ago
Reply to  Vhen Detta

Pba labanan nalang palagi ng smb at pangilinan franchises..nakakaumay at wala na talaga mga elim games nganga na talaga sa ticket sales

Eulivo Cavboleao
Eulivo Cavboleao
11 months ago

Naging Business n kc ang PBA kaya ganun kailangan ang system. Marami nag-react kc alam nila na totoo cnabi ni coach baldwin. Di dapat sila magalit bagkus tanggapin nila.

Albert MAGABO II
Albert MAGABO II
10 months ago

Tab Baldwin is right. It’s more exciting to to watch UAAP than the PBA. Holy Crap!

Sonny Managbanag
Sonny Managbanag
10 months ago

PBA
Puro
Bobos
Animales

Engel Arches
Engel Arches
10 months ago

When I see coach tab handled gilas the amateur players played like a pro. and the basketball world see that !
On the other hand pba mafia alarmed 😆

vince
vince
10 months ago

dpat yan ang mga alisin sila chua. jarencio na wlang bilang.

vince
vince
10 months ago

i think tab should be the pba comisioner

dfds
dfds
10 months ago

lahat ng nagko comment dto d daw nanunuod ng PBA.. mga IPOKRITO kayo

jim paredes
jim paredes
10 months ago

parang larong kalye na lang ang PBA ngayon…

Rich Guy Gunner
Rich Guy Gunner
9 months ago

Ako I watched PBA games before, not anymore. I’d rather watch NBA na lang. Mas maganda Ang games.

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