By Jonas Terrado
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and TNT KaTropa’s Tab Baldwin are set to discuss the comments the American-Kiwi mentor made on coaching and league policies regarding imports and officiating.
Marcial said the talk will likely take place Monday via online after the Gilas Pilipinas program director and Ateneo coach requested for a chance to air his side after causing stir during a video podcast that aired on June 11.
The PBA chief earlier hinted that Baldwin, who is listed in the TNT’s official roster as an assistant coach, will be fined for what he described as “detrimental comments” on the league.
But Marcial also said that the former Gilas coach could also face a suspension depending on his discussion with the PBA technical committee, also set for Monday.
Baldwin told the Coaches Unfiltered podcast that having just one reinforcement during an import-laden conference is a “big mistake,” and that foreign players receive fouls that local counterparts couldn’t and vice versa.
San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua and NLEX mentor Yeng Guiao also took offense at Baldwin’s remarks that the “tactical immaturity” of local coaches was his biggest surprise.
Chua said that hiring two or three imports will be detrimental to the locals as far as playing time is concerned.
The PBA holds two conferences per season which requires teams to hire one import. Foreigners 6-foot-10 and under are allowed during the Commissioner’s Cup while reinforcements 6-foot-5 and under can play in the Governors’ Cup.
The Manila Bulletin tried to get a reaction from TNT’s Ricky Vargas, the current PBA Chairman, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio but were unavailable.
It is assumed that TNT owner and SBP Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan has been made aware of Baldwin’s comments and that top officials are figuring out ways to deal with the PBA backlash.