Baldwin close to being named Ateneo head coach - report
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University is reportedly set to name Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin as the new guy calling the shots from the bench for the Blue Eagles.
According to a report by Inquirer.net, a “very reliable source” said that Baldwin, if he hasn’t been appointed yet, is the front-runner to be the new head coach of Ateneo.
“We’re headed in that direction. It’s 80 percent done,” another source told the news website.
“It’s almost done,” said the other source. “Although, from what we know, it will just be for one year.”
Ateneo is coming off a 3-year tenure under head coach Bo Perasol which resulted in two Final Four appearances but zero championships.
Prior to Perasol’s time, Ateneo was led to 5 UAAP titles by Norman Black from 2008-2012 in what was one of the most dominant eras ever by a team in the collegiate league.
According to the report of Inquirer and Rappler sources, former Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, former Letran head coach Louie Alas, Ateneo assistant coach Ronnie Magsanoc, and current NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez were also considered for the head coaching gig.
Rappler learned that even former Ateneo player Olsen Racela was discussed as a potential head coach.
Baldwin was hired just last year to take over Gilas Pilipinas from Reyes. In his first FIBA-Asia tourney, the 57-year-old mentor led Gilas to a silver-medal finish.
Although the Blue Eagles are losing Kiefer Ravena, Von Pessumal, Ponzo Gotladera, and Gwyne Capacio to graduation, they’re still poised to have a formidable team next season with returning players Arvin Tolentino, Aaron Black, Adrian Wong, the Nieto twins, and more.
Ateneo is also expected to welcome former San Sebastian standout CJ Perez and welcome back Thirdy Ravena, Kiefer’s younger brother who’s also a former UAAP junior’s MVP.
Baldwin is currently serving as a consultant for the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters in the PBA.
As of posting time, Blue Eagles team manager Epok Quimpo hasn’t responded to a text message by Rappler seeking confirmation. – Rappler.com