By Jerome Lagunzad
Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin and former National University mentor Eric Altamirano have been invited as guests of honor in the opening ceremonies of the 6th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship that gets going next weekend.
Baldwin, 59, fresh from helping he Blue Eagles regain their UAAP throne and Altamirano, 51, who led the Bulldogs to their first crown in six decades last 2014, are both eager to impart their knowledge to the rising stars at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym.
“We’re excited to have two champion coaches who have made a name for themselves in the local basketball scene. Their presence will be enough to give our players and our coaches as well enough motivation to do well,” said league chairman Rudy Yu of Dickies Underwear, this year’s title sponsor.
Both Baldwin and Altamirano will also have a closer look on some of the country’s finest ballers coming from 12 rock-solid high school programs led by reigning UAAP champion Far Eastern University-Diliman and new NCAA titleholder La Salle-Greenhills.
“This tournament has been the breeding ground of future stars, both in the UAAP and the NCAA. So we’re very proud that we’re able to help the development of our high school players in our own little way,” said Poly Gloss co-owner Terry Que.
Also participating in the six-day tourney that offers P50,000 in cash and a trophy for the eventual champion are former titlists Hope Christian High School, San Beda and Chiang Kai Shek.
Also included as members of the Board are Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Freego Jeans’ Eduard Tio, Che Lu Bar & Grill’s Jimmy Dela Cruz, Jimmy Lim of Ironcon Builders and MEC Computers’ Leoncio Chua. Multi-titled mentor Ato Badolato remains as the league commissioner.