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Chot tells MVP: Sorry Boss

Photo courtesy of FIBA

Chot Reyes apologized to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan following Gilas Pilipinas’ fruitless campaign in the ongoing FIBA Basketball World Cup.

No less than Pangilinan made the revelation, saying that the embattled Gilas mentor texted him after the Filipinos were crushed by Italy, 83-90, that sent them out of the second round of this prestigious 32-nation tournament.

“He texted me last night with only two words: Sorry Boss,” Pangilinan told One News.

“I have yet to answer him because I still don’t know what to say.”

Reyes is in hot water after failing to lead Gilas Pilipinas past the first round.

Despite having an extensive – and expensive – preparation that brought them to as far as Estonia, Lithuania and China, Gilas Pilipinas still struggled in their first three matches that sent it crashing out of contention.

The Filipinos opened their campaign with an 81-87 loss to the Dominican Republic before absorbing a 70-90 loss to Angola.

Against the Italians, the pressure on Reyes greatly soared as fans inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum booed him during the pre-game players’ introduction.

Although his players like Kiefer Ravena, Jordan Clarkson and Rhenz Abando already rushed to his defense, his critics are still not happy and are already calling for his ouster, especially on social media.

This is Reyes’ second attempt to lead the Philippines in the World Cup.

The first time he called the shots was in 2014 in Spain in which Gilas finished 21st among 24 teams with naturalized player Andray Blatche leading them to some exciting matches against powerhouse countries like Greece, Argentina, Croatia and Puerto Rico.

But this time, the outcome was so dismal that the Philippines became the first host country since 1982 to get booted out of contention in the first round.

Pangilinan said he is still standing by Reyes.

“I feel for Chot. I have no doubt that he tried his best,” said Pangilinan, who has been backing the national team program since 2007.

“I feel for the players. I have no doubt that they tried their best.”

Pangilinan, however, remains hopeful that Gilas will still emerge as the best-performing Asian team that will earn an automatic slot in the Paris Olympics.

After all, the Filipinos have yet to play basketball in the Olympics since 1972 in Munich.

“I hope the outcomes will improve our ranking from 40,” Pangilinan said. 

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