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Vargas slams Baldwin apology

Bea Micaller

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Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) chairman Ricky Vargas didn’t feel the sincerity in former TNT KaTropa assistant coach Tab Baldwin when he issued an apology for ripping his fellow coaches, the league and even the International Basketball Federation.

Vargas, who is also the KaTropa governor, said the Kiwi-American mentor apologized to him privately, saying that his statement was taken out of context and he doesn’t mean harm in claiming that Filipino coaches are “tactically immature” and that the league’s one-import format is a “big mistake.”

Baldwin’s statement created a firestorm as coaches, including Americans Tim Cone and Norman Black were up in arms in calling him out.

Black, a grand slam mentor who has been in the country for more than four decades, said Baldwin should have been more humble and careful in issuing statements since he is just a mere guest in the county.

The PBA slapped him with a three-game suspension and P75,000 fine while asking him to issue an apology to those he offended.

Days later, the KaTropa let him go and replaced him with retired forward Ranidel de Ocampo.

“He apologized privately and I accepted the apology,” Vargas said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum yesterday.

“But the impact to me of his comment being taken out of context after he issued the apology was a little bit insincere.”

Vargas explained said Baldwin may have apologized, but he refused to take back his controversial remarks.

“It was sort of saying ‘I apologize, but I was taken out of context’ so it tended to push it to blaming others,” Vargas, also the president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, said.
“And the consequence of that statement became more divisive.”

Vargas, however, clarified that he didn’t lift a finger and let PBA commissioner Willie Marcial to decide on what would be the penalty of their former assistant coach.

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