Senator Richard Gordon expressed his disappointment over the Philippine Basketball Association’s move to penalize Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin for criticizing the league’s one-import policy.
Aside from the denouncing the limit set on reinforcements which is applicable in two of the pro league’s three conferences, the former national team mentor claimed that foreign players are given preferential treatment by game officials.
League commissioner Willie Marcial announced on Tuesday that Baldwin, who is listed as an assistant coach for the TNT KaTropa, has been fined ₱75,000 along with a three-game suspension for issuing comments deemed as detrimental to the league.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the 74-year old lawmaker reacted on the development and insisted that the sanctions were not necessary.
The association should have looked at the message and not shot the messenger. You may not agree with him but you don’t penalize him.
— Richard J. Gordon (@DickGordonDG) June 18, 2020
“The PBA’s recent decision to suspend Tab Baldwin and fine him for his comments about the league, its officiating and the country’s local coaches is uncalled for,” wrote Gordon.
“The association should have looked at the message and not shot the messenger. You may not agree with him but you don’t penalize him,” he added.
Gordon disclosed that Baldwin, who is also the head coach of Ateneo de Manila University, is more than qualified to share his observations given his track record in both local and international basketball scenes.
“Coach Tab comes with good credentials, having coached two national teams in FIBA tournaments,” he stressed.
“In college coaching, He took over an Ateneo team which just lost 7 key players to academics and transformed this rag tag team into a second place team in his first year and a champion team in each of the next three years, the last one via an unprecedented sweep,” added the former mayor of Olongapo City.
“I think he is one of the finest coaches that ever came in to the Philippines. Our players are good but they need coaching and they need to be disciplined. Not listening to him is our loss.”
“His formula? Discipline, team offense, team defense, next man up. There are no individual stars on his team as witnessed by the lack of individual awards garnered by the members of his team.”