Baldwin on PH style of play: ‘We’re too obsessed in the American game’

Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin has been all over the world and has witnessed and competed against some of the brightest minds in basketball.

It’s not a stretch to say that he’s among them, too. He’s one of the greatest coaches in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, has taken the same country to the semifinals of the 2002 FIBA World Championship and to three second-place finishes in FIBA Oceania, has led Lebanon to a FIBA Stankovic Cup gold and has steered Gilas to one of its best FIBA Asia performances in 2015.

So when he puts on record anything that he notices about coaching, it’s pretty much on good authority.

Ahead of his World Hoops Clinic from June 1 to 3 at the MGC New Life Academy in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Baldwin confirmed in a phone call with FOX Sports PH that he’ll be bringing along some of the most decorated coaches in Europe to impart their coaching styles.

The reason? To help Filipino coaches become more creative and innovative.

“We primarily want to bring the European coaching style to our Filipino coaches. I believe we’re missing that in the game,” he said.

“We’re too obsessed in the American game.”

A quick look at Baldwin’s Gilas and Ateneo teams show the obvious: he doesn’t like relying on one star, he always wants the ball swung around and he wants every single player contributing positively at all times.

Evidently, Baldwin’s coaching style is largely influenced by European basketball – less reliant on athleticism unlike their counterparts from the West and is heavily-focused on rapid and sharp ball movement to cover weak spots and to highlight strengths.

“We don’t have the population demographic that Americans have, but we (Filipino teams) are trying to be like them,” he added.

Leaving behind old American and Filipino basketball philosophies isn’t a route that he’d want to take, though. The 60-year-old coach added that a mix of these styles with the European way of coaching would certainly yield a lot of benefits.

“We had Norman (as an assistant) and his coaching style is definitely American. We had Chot (Reyes) for a while and he’s also had American influences. Rajko (Toroman) has been there for a time too, and his style is obviously European. Having all these styles is great since we’ll have our options and we’ll continue to be more creative,” Baldwin explained.