Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin has no plans of trying his luck in the National Basketball Association but he has a bold suggestion to those cagers aspiring to reach the world’s grandest basketball stage: Combine Ray Parks’ skill set with Terrence Romeo’s work ethic.
Baldwin, 57, considers the 6-foot-4 Parks, 23, as the closest Filipino player who could possibly get a call-up from any of the NBA’s 30 teams, owing to his size, speed and quickness that are hardly seen from local ballers.
“As far as a player getting there (in the NBA), from the PBA or anywhere I have seen here, I guess it’s Ray-Ray,” said Baldwin in recent interview, referring to the proud son of late but great Bobby Parks, a seven-time Best Import awardee in the pro ranks, who is currently seeing action with the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League.
“He’s on the fringes of the D-League. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s extremely dedicated to his craft. He’s got good size, he’s got NBA speed and quickness,” stressed Baldwin while adding Parks still has plenty of room for improvement.
“Obviously, there are some deficiencies on his game, probably offensively and probably some perimeter deficiencies,” he said. “He’s got great knowledge of the game and he’s close as anybody who could have get.”
Baldwin added: “A lot of times that most Filipinos lack is the physical aspect. Generally, they are too small for the positions they would play. But he (Parks) is a 6-foot-4 guard and he’s got point guard capabilities that could be refined and nurtured. With his work ethic, who knows?”
The American-Kiwi mentor, however, could not help but expressed his admiration on the work ethic being displayed by the 5-foot-11 Romeo, who is bidding to crack the Gilas Pilipinas’ ‘Final 12’ for the Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament set from July 5 to 10 that dangles a lone berth to this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“If we have basketball players in this country that have the work ethic and dedication like Terrence Romeo, we have some NBA players already,” said Baldwin, his eyes glowing. “I just never seen any player as dedicated to his craft as that kid is. So I have a lot of respect and admiration for Terrence.”
Baldwin also reiterated that he’s not eyeing to bring his talents to the NBA, adding his primary concern is to serve the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, headed by president Manny V. Pangilanan, well as Gilas Pilipinas tactician.
“I enjoy watching (NBA) games but from a career standpoint, it doesn’t interest me,” said Baldwin. “I am really happy where I am at and I am really happy working with Boss MVP. He’s simply the best boss I ever had.”
After a whirlwind international coaching career that saw him made stops in New Zealand, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Lebanon and Jordan, Baldwin, a father of two, admitted his primary concern is the stability for his family.
“When you work in this game as a coach, every day might be your last day as a coach. It’s just the nature of the business. I’ve done great job for an organization, I’ve done lousy jobs for a organization. It’s just a strange industry. But at this point in my life, after all i have done and experienced, stability is the most important for my family and for me. And working with Boss MVP can give me that. I am so indebted and dedicated to him,” he shared. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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