Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jong Uichico, Norman Black, Baldwin all capable to be Gilas head coach, says Alapag
JIMMY Alapag is convinced the Gilas Pilipinas basketball program stands to benefit from the wide coaching experience of Norman Black, Jong Uichico and Talk ‘N Text team consultant Tab Baldwin - three coaches who get mentioned in the midst of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) search for a new basketball coach.
The 5-7 Alapag said the three are a good fit for the international game, given the track record of Black and Uichico as champion coaches in the PBA, as well as their recent involvement with Gilas Pilipinas since last year.
“When you talk about coach Norman and coach Jong, you talk about two Hall of Fame PBA coaches who both have international experience and been involved with the Gilas program,” Alapag told a handful of reporters after helping Talk ‘N Text beat Meralco, 80-72 in a battle of sister teams on Tuesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“Same with coach Tab. You look at his resume, he’s coached in the Olympics, he’s coached in the world championship, so I think all three guys are obviously very capable of being the head coach, but until the SBP and the PBA really decide, we just have to wait and see what they come up with,” he added. Alapag played his final two international stints for Gilas during the Fiba World Cup in Spain, where, despite being the shortest player in the tournament, he averaged 9.2 points and 3.2 assists. He scored a team-high 18 points to lead Gilas to an 81-79 overtime win over Senegal in the team’s last game in the group stage - the country's first victory in the world championships since the 1974 edition in Puerto Rico.
The 'Mighty Mouse,' who turns 37 next month, hopes he could still be of help to the soon-to-be-revamped Gilas squad. “I do want to be involved in whatever capacity (at Gilas). I just want to help. I know the feeling of wearing the national colors,” shared the sweet-shooting Talk ‘N Text playmaker.
“It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe unless you put the jersey on, and then, you really get a better understanding of the love and passion for the game. But I’m gonna miss it (playing for Gilas),” he added. Alapag, however, is confident that the PBA has more than enough young talent to pick up where the last Gilas batch has left off.
“Again, moving forward, with some of the new young talent we have in the country today, I’m excited to see what transpires next, who's gonna be the next coach and who's gonna be the guys for Gilas 3.0. Whatever I can do to help, I’m here.”
The search and screening committee of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Tuesday drafted a “tentative set of criteria” for the next coach of the Philippine national men’s basketball team.
It will be forwarded for final approval to the SBP executive committee, headed by president Manny V. Pangilinan, and a short list of possible coaches could be made next week.
The SBP did not divulge details about the criteria set by the committee.
The SBP is currently making a “reassessment” of the Gilas Pilipinas program, with the committee tasked to search new players and coaches for the team.
Chot Reyes, who started handling Gilas Pilipinas in 2012, will no longer be calling the shots for the national team after withdrawing his name from the SBP’s search. Among the names floating that could take over are former New Zealand coach Tab Baldwin, Purefoods Star Hotshots coach Tim Cone and basketball legend, Robert Jaworski, among others.
SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas presided the committee meeting which was also attended by PBA commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Pato Gregorio, PBA vice chairman Robert Non and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.