Coach Tab shoulders PBA fine on his own - despite offers of help

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 23, 2020 06:47 PM
Coach Tab shoulders PBA fine on his own
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin is taking full responsibility for the aftermath of his comments that caused some sort of controversy.

A week ago, Baldwin was slapped with a fine of PHP 75,000 as well as a three-game suspension by the PBA.

The American-Kiwi mentor has decided to pay the fine out of his own pocket - despite offers of help.

"I am deeply humbled by the offer of those in the Ateneo community and friends from supportive companies to shoulder the cost of the fine imposed on me by the PBA," he said. "However, in these times that are so difficult for so many Filipinos, I would prefer that these generous offerings be donated to a much more important cause like Ateneo's ongoing COVID-19 drive for frontliners."

Apparently, a number of Ateneo alumni as well as business owners have reached out to Coach Tab, telling him that they will pool together the funds to pay for his sanction.

The Ateneo de Manila University's shot-caller and TNT consultant's fine was part of the PBA's disciplinary action for his "comments detrimental to the league."

In the inaugural episode of Coaches Unfiltered, Baldwin said that the PBA’s imports stand on higher ground than local players. “A foul for a local player isn’t a foul on an import. Our local players are competitively disadvantaged in their ability to compete against imports,” he said.

The brilliant tactician also touched on what he coined as “tactical immaturity” of local coaches - many of whom have not wasted time voicing out opposition to his claims.

That was the 62-year-old's answer after being inquired by host Paolo Layug, “What are some of the similarities and differences between Philippine basketball and other places you’ve coached in? What is one thing about Philippine coaching culture that surprised you when you got here?”

After his initial response of what he perceives to be “tactical immaturity” of local coaches, he then furthered that there are factors beyond their control affecting that. “Our player development here is mature, but our appreciation for tactical advancement and tactical systems is immature. Now, let me explain to you why I think that isn't necessarily coaches' fault.”

That then led to Coach Tab's view on imports. “We should never have a single import playing on a team. Further, we should never have a single import that is given all of the rules latitude that imports are given here by referees,” he shared.

The brilliant tactician said so because what he sees as preferential treatment for imports has long been an obstacle local players and coaches could not hurdle. “The imports who come here are very outstanding players… so if you’re a PBA coach and you don’t tactically run your systems through the import, you’re pretty stupid because they are given all the advantages,” he said.

He then continued, “The PBA coaches are a smart lot, they’re good basketball coaches, but they could be much better if they were forced to coach much more. I believe, then they would show their real talents.”

Those comments have ignited quite the firestorm that has affected the professional and collegiate ranks alike.

With his disciplinary action now official, Baldwin has said no to offers of help - instead urging that those be put into efforts of organizations such as Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan and Tanging Yaman Foundation in the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

In the end, he said that the presence of those supporting him - in particular, Ateneo patron Manny V. Pangilinan - was more than enough. "I have been in the employ of boss MVP for over five years now and I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to coach his teams. I look forward to more successes on the court," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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