SBP says ‘no proof’ of Tab Baldwin’s role in player exodus to Japan
MANILA, Philippines—The country’s top basketball officials said there is “no proof” that former Gilas coach Tab Baldwin was responsible for the departure of several prospects to Japan.
PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas admitted that they were aware of the hearsay that Baldwin, who recently stepped down from his post, was involved in the players’ decision to transfer to the Japan B.League but said these were just “all smoke.”
“To be honest, I’ve been hearing about that but there’s really no proof,” said Vargas after the PBA held a board meeting Friday.
“A lot of rumors, a lot of speculations because of his connections with agents and friends and players saying that they’ve been approached and all that but there are no hard facts. There is no real proof. It’s just all smoke,” added Vargas.
Rumors suggested that Baldwin was removed from his post as Gilas Pilipinas head coach due to his involvement in the recent player movement.
Players such as Thirdy Ravena, Kobe Paras, Dwight Ramos, and Javi Gomez de Liaño were mainstays with Gilas but decided to play professionally in Japan while Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks Jr., who were signed to PBA clubs, did the same.
“People I talked to who have not been directly involved mentioned it to me. I don’t really mind it but it’s there. We actually don’t know. But it’s being talked about,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio. “It’s hard to prove that but if there’s smoke, there’s fire somewhere.”