Coach Thomas Anthony “Tab” Baldwin is celebrating his birthday today. The American/New Zealander has been more prominent on the news lately due to his affiliations with Gilas Pilipinas and the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Anyway, to celebrate Coach Tab’s birthday, here’s our top 5 birthday wishes for him.
1. Gilas Pilipinas
The 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be held in Manila during July 5-10. Our National Team appears ready to field our very best team in recent memory. The roster includes June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva and Greg Slaughter plus more of the top players in the PBA. Now, the pressure of leading our team falls on the shoulders of Coach Tab Baldwin. His task is to prepare and select the best players who will represent our country. Therefore, we wish Coach Tab would get a LOT of time to conduct practices and that he would receive the full complement of healthy players at his disposal. We also wish that Coach Tab gets to have Ray Parks Jr. and Jordan Clarkson on Gilas Pilipinas very soon. Moreover, we wish that Coach Tab and Gilas Pilipinas will perform extremely well during the OQT and hopefully, our National Team books a ticket to the Summer Olympics.
2. Ateneo Blue Eagles
The Blue Eagles have not been to the UAAP Men’s Final since Season 75 during 2012. That season ended with their 5th straight title. Over the last three seasons, the Blue Eagles managed 2 Final Four appearances with the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Chris Newsome and Von Pessumal leading the way. Unfortunately, those guys have finished their playing careers for the Blue and White. So, entering Season 79, Ateneo will undergo some sort of rebuilding process and the person in charge is Tab Baldwin whose position is Team Consultant but make no mistake, he will be the one in charge. This will be Coach Tab’s first foray in the collegiate ranks, thus, we wish Coach Tab a competitive UAAP Season 79 as he molds and develops the Blue Eagles under his image. Of course, a championship during his rookie season would be the ultimate gift!
3. Tropang TnT
Coach Tab is still employed by Tropang TnT in the PBA. His current designation is Assistant Coach/Consultant. Tropang TnT has underperformed in the last few conferences under Head Coach Jong Uichico. This has prompted team management to evaluate their current roster including the coaching staff. A coaching change might occur soon for TnT and it isn’t farfetched to see Coach Tab promoted as their new Lead Consultant/Head Coach. However, such a move seems unlikely at the moment because Coach Tab already has head coach duties with Gilas Pilipinas and the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Hence, we simply wish a more successful showing by Tropang TnT with Coach Baldwin still part of their coaching staff. And if Coach Tab gets a top coaching position in the PBA, we wish him a championship (or two).
4. Sports 5 PBA Color Commentator
During the 2016 Oppo Commissioner’s Cup Finals between the Alaska Aces and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Coach Tab was invited as a guest analyst for a couple of the games. It was quite refreshing and very entertaining to hear Coach Baldwin offer insights and analyses on the game. He was brutally honest which resulted into saying some words regarding PBA officiating that offended the league. Look, Coach Tab said something on air that some fans occasionally think and feel when their favorite team receives (or does not receive) a favorable call from the referees. He made a mistake by saying it on air but hopefully, the PBA will forgive this misstep because Coach Tab was excellent with his assessments about the game. Anyway, we wish that Coach Tab will be given another chance to guest on Sports 5 more often after this incident.
5. More Media Appearances
Coach Tab is one of the best coaches in the Philippines right now. He knows a lot about international basketball and his time in the Philippines has endeared him to a lot of fans. Coach Baldwin also recently started tweeting and did a marvelous job commentating for the PBA, even if only for a few games. That short exposure on TV and his usage of social media might be a sign that Coach Tab should entertain more opportunities to guest on TV and/or do some writing or blogging. So, we wish that Coach Tab considers guesting more often on the sports show “GOAT”, shown on FOX Sports Philippines, which covers about 80-85% basketball topics. Aside from being on TV, we wish that Coach Tab finds the time to share his thoughts online by participating in online chats/forums and joining roundtable discussions.
Happy Birthday Coach Tab and good luck with all of your endeavors! – By Rolly Mendoza
Follow this writer on Twitter: @rollzter