Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



CHOT Reyes gets a second shot at leading the Philippines to a glorious finish.

Taking the coaching reins of Gilas Pilipinas is a thankless job but somebody has to do it.

It may look glamorous and glitzy calling the shots for a team composed of 12 of the country’s best players, but it requires a lot of sacrifice, patience — and a thick skin.

Chot Reyes, a battle-hardened tactician, fits the bill as he makes his comeback in the FIBA World Cup equipped with a formidable lineup seeking redemption after a dismal outing in basketball’s biggest stage four years ago.

The 60-year-old coach hopes that the current Gilas squad led by Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson and a young center in Kai Sotto will have a better showing this time in front of a roaring home crowd.

Reyes took the challenge of handling the squad last year when Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas needed an old hand to steer Gilas in the right direction.

After all, he was the one who guided the Philippines to the World Cup in 2014 in Spain after a dramatic silver-medal finish in the 2013 FIBA Asia that the country hosted. In Gilas’ first World Cup stint since 1978, the Filipinos finished 21st overall winning their last game in the initial stage against Senegal in overtime.

It was not a rosy homecoming for Reyes, though.

He took the fall for the national team’s shocking final defeat to Indonesia in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi last year that ended the Philippines’ 13 straight gold medal finishes.

But Reyes bounced back and made sure to reclaim the country’s glory the following year when Gilas took home the mint in the Cambodian edition of the SEA Games.

This time, he wants to restore Gilas’ honor in the World Cup after finishing dead last out of 32 nations following a winless run in the 2019 edition in China.

He also sets his eyes on leading the Filipinos to claim a ticket to Paris as the best Asian team in the World Cup will earn an automatic spot in the Paris Olympics next year.

The Nationals had a long and well-planned buildup from setting up a European training camp, playing in pocket tournaments and arranging a series of friendlies ahead of Gilas’ group stage quest against the Dominican Republic, Angola and Italy.

Reyes, however, admitted that there are areas that the team needs to improve on.

“Any coach that you will ask, anyone here will say that they aren’t ready. We always fear that there is always something more that needs to be done. Same thing with us,” Reyes said.

“No matter how many practices we’ve had, the tune-up games, we still (feel) that there’s something more that could be done.”

Gilas has spent the remaining days leading up to their opening match against the Dominicans at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Friday, 25 August, polishing up their game.

“Just continuously understanding how they play offensive, how they attack and how they defend at the same time. That’s number one,” Reyes said.

“Balancing it with continuing to improve the flow of our offense. Because it is not yet at the level where we wanted to be. Obviously, because we have some late additions, but everyone is working hard, everyone is approaching it with the right mindset.”

Reyes understands that the road ahead will be an uphill climb but vows to do everything to get the job done.

He is always ready to take fault if Gilas fall short of expectations and would willingly give all the credit to his men in triumphs. Being Gilas coach is a thankless job — it is both a blessing and a curse.

It may sound unfair, but that’s what patriots do.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


Manny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent dinner...


The dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to a...


The University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President Fr....


ECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The seven...


It’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for the...


It doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the World...


Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.


Legendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man in...