By Jonas Terrado
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial is studying the possibility of suspending TNT KaTropa assistant coach Tab Baldwin for what he termed as “detrimental comments” made over league policies on imports.
Marcial said Friday that while Baldwin will be fined for his sentiments over the use of one import during two of the three PBA conferences per season, he plans to meet with the league’s technical committee to see if an additional suspension is needed.
Baldwin, the program director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Ateneo coach who is also listed as an assistant of TNT, said in a video podcast which aired Thursday night that having just one import per conference is “a mistake.”
“Sa mga sinabi niyang detrimental comments, siguradong may fine siya pero pag-aaralan pa kung lalagyan ko ng suspension,” Marcial told the Manila Bulletin.
During the same podcast titled, “Coaches Unfiltered,” Baldwin, who also coached the national team, said that “a foul for a local player isn’t a foul on an import, and the foul of an import, that same foul on a local player isn’t a foul.”
He also described that “the biggest thing that annoys me, and I think the biggest surprise to me was the tactical immaturity of Philippine basketball coaches. And so what do I mean by that? I mean that they are significantly unaware of the tactical advancements and the systemic advancements of coaching systems coming out of Europe in particular which, you know, are built on the backs of player development. And so our player development here is mature, and our appreciation for tactical advancement and tactical systems is immature.”
Marcial felt that it was wrong for Baldwin to make comments at a time when the league is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the American-Kiwi should have sought the avenue of TNT management and the PBA regarding his views.
“Sa ganitong panahon, mali ang timing ng sinasabi ni Tab. Sa panahon na to, ang ginagawa ng mga governors at ng Office of the Commissioner ay para bigyan kumpiyansa mga players, coaches at ang PBA family para makabalik sa basketbol,” Marcial said.
“Pangalawa, maling avenue yan sa ginagawa niya. Pwede naman niya akong kausapin. Pwede niya ako sulatan, pwede niya akong tawagan o pwede niya akong puntahan sa opisina. At pangatlo, pwede naman niyang sabihin sa head coach mo yan (Bong Ravena and active consultant Mark Dickel) o kaya kay Gabby (Cui, TNT team manager) at kay Ricky Vargas na chairman namin PBA.
“At wala kaming double standard sa tawagan. Kung ano ang tawag namin mula sa elimination hanggang Finals, pare-pareho tawag namin sa kahit sinong player,” added Marcial.
San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua was also taken aback by Baldwin’s observations.
“Gusto niya two to three imports para di na makalaro mga locals? E di hindi na makakalaro mga locals. Paano matututo ang player nun pag nasa bench ka?” said Chua, who also reacted to Baldwin’s comments on local coaches.
“Paanong immature e nung nag-coach siya sa PBA tinalo ba niya mga Pilipino? Yun ang tanong ko kung nag-champion ba siya sa PBA? Kung tinalo niya mga immature na Filipino coaches?” added Chua.
Chua also seconded Marcial’s sentiments that Baldwin should have made the suggestions through proper means.
“Pwede naman isabi sa governor niya, tas mag-suggest siya sa PBA para maganda, hindi coming from outside titirahin mo PBA at magbibigay ng ganitong suggestion,” he said.