December 5, 2015
One Big Tab
Welcome to the UAAP jungle.
Just a week after La Salle “unofficially” plucked Aldin Ayo out of Letran and rival NCAA and a few days after Adamson officially announced it has acquired former La Salle mentor Franz Pumaren as its new coach, you’re probably wondering how Ateneo, the only team left in the league with a coaching vacancy, will respond?
All big names and worthy successors to Bo Perasol, right?
But Ateneo has splashier things in mind–Tab Baldwin.
Some reliable sources apparently broke it to one leading broadsheet and mentioned “it’s 80 percent done.” Checking with our own sources, they confirmed the same. The difference is that we’re 99 percent sure it is happening. One source told us that Baldwin’s appointment will be officially announced on Monday in a press conference. The one percent that it will not happen is if the Ateneo people or Baldwin himself change their mind.
They won’t though.
The Gilas Pilipinas mentor will coach Ateneo.
It will mean good news for the Eagles, who had three failed attempts at a UAAP basketball crown, and bad to the opposition since Baldwin will bring his vast international coaching experience to local college basketball.
One question though, is a foreigner allowed to coach in the UAAP?
Yes, it’s allowed. Only, an applicant must meet certain requirements. American Joe Ward was supposed to coach the Maroons but couldn’t come up with the needed documents, allegedly forcing UP to name Rensy Bajar, a Filipino, as head coach instead. Norman Black’s case is different. He’s been living in the country for decades now and has a Filipina wife and a son, Aaron, who is playing for Ateneo.
We summise that Baldwin can comply with all the documents. After all, he coached Gilas Pilipinas, our national basketball team, correct?
And also, Ateneo has tapped a foreign coach before–Thai Tai Bundit–to coach Alyssa Valdez and its women’s volleyball squad whom he eventually steered to a pair of UAAP championships.
So Tab Baldwin it is.
Before we end, let’s make a UAAP headcoach count.
La Salle, check (It will announce officially Ayo’s appointment anytime next week).
Reigning UAAP champion Far Eastern U (Nash Racela), check.
Losing finalist Santo Tomas (Bong dela Cruz), check.
National U (Eric Altamirano), check.
University of the East (Derek Pumaren), check.
UP (Bajar), check.
And the winner is…..?
I’d like to see how our local coaches will react. Pressure, pressure.
Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photo courtesy of PBA online.net)