There’s no doubt that Abueva’s energy and hustle – intangibles he could easily bring to Gilas will be missed. On the other hand, Tenorio won’t be around to add his veteran presence at the backcourt.
But then again, Pinoy hoop fans have to understand that Tab Baldwin is named the national coach for a reason.
His decision to leave the two out of the Final 12 may be unpopular as it drew sharp criticisms from netizens on Sunday.
Yet, we all have to understand that the last thing Baldwin and Gilas need at this point is another distraction.
With no less than the Olympic berth at stake, I hope Pinoy fans will give the American-Kiwi coach the space to operate and be able to fulfill his mandate as our national coach.
I remember Baldwin tell me in a chat I had with him on May 26 after practice that “his job is not to please everybody.”
Said the Gilas coach: “I might exclude somebody that everybody thinks, ‘why isn’t that player in?’ And I might include somebody and say, ‘why put that guy in?’ But that goes with the territoty when you’re the coach. My job is not to please anybody, my job is to build the best basketball team that I think I can build so that’s what impacts selection significantly.”
Unpopular decision? You bet. But lest we forget, Gilas needs every Filipino’s support because on its shoulder is the country’s Olympic hope, one that has eluded us for the last 44 years.