PBA commissioner Willie Marcial is up in arms over comments made by Gilas Pilipinas program director and concurrent TNT assistant coach Tab Baldwin regarding the league’s one-import rule.
The 62-year old American/New Zealander appeared on the show hosted by basketball analysts Charles Tiu, Anton Altamirano and Paolo Layug and criticized the PBA for holding two conferences which only allows one import per team.
“As an industry here, we have one major, major flaw in the basketball landscape of the Philippines, and it’s a regulatory flaw, and that is in the PBA, we have three conferences and two of those conferences are single-import conferences. This is a big mistake,” said Baldwin during a guesting gig on the premiere episode of Coaches Unfiltered.
The former national team mentor also felt that the reinforcements were given preferential treatment by the referees.
“We should never have a single import that is given all of the rules latitude that the imports are given here by the referees and by the administration of the PBA, and I do believe it is by the administration. And I do believe that it is based in the desire to have superstars as a marketing tool for the PBA.”
Baldwin’s allegations drew the ire of the league’s 10th commissioner.
“Sa mga sinabi niyang detrimental comments, siguradong may fine siya pero pag-aaralan pa kung lalagyan ko ng suspension,” said Marcial during an interview with Manila Bulletin.
“At wala kaming double standard sa tawagan. Kung ano ang tawag namin mula sa elimination hanggang Finals, pare-pareho tawag namin sa kahit sinong player,” he added.
The former statistician also rued the timing of Baldwin’s remarks.
“Sa ganitong panahon, mali ang timing ng sinasabi ni Tab. Sa panahon na to, ang ginagawa ng mga governors at ng Office of the Commissioner ay para bigyan kumpiyansa mga players, coaches at ang PBA family para makabalik sa basketbol,” said Marcial.
“Pangalawa, maling avenue yan sa ginagawa niya. Pwede naman niya akong kausapin. Pwede niya ako sulatan, pwede niya akong tawagan o pwede niya akong puntahan sa opisina. At pangatlo, pwede naman niyang sabihin sa head coach mo yan o kaya kay Gabby (Cui, TNT team manager) at kay Ricky Vargas na chairman namin sa PBA,” he added.