MANILA, Philippines—The 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers has had three windows so far, the same number of head coaches Gilas Pilipinas had in the competition.
Despite going undefeated for three games, Gilas decided to install program director Tab Baldwin as its head coach, replacing Jong Uichico at the helm. Uichico, who succeeded Mark Dickel, called the shots in the second window.
Ryan Gregorio, the special assistant to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president, said the latest coaching switch falls on the basic logic that Gilas’ schemes were the creations of Baldwin.
“It’s important to understand, and of course know, that coach Tab is tasked to run the program all the way to 2023,” said Gregorio in a virtual press conference Sunday. “Basically, the reason is it’s his program, and it being his program, he wants to make sure all adjustments will be done in accordance to his preferences.”
“And he understands the international game better than his coaching staff.”
The Philippines is atop Group A with a 3-0 record and will play South Korea twice and Indonesia once in the final window in Clark, Pampanga.
Apart from the third window of the qualifiers, Baldwin will also be in charge of the team in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia on June 29.
“He’s looking at two tournaments and he’ll evaluate his performance and the performance of our team,” said Gregorio. “He wants to make sure the program he set in play from the offensive complexities, defensive schemes and the chemistry he espouses will give us good basketball play.”
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