Chot Reyes has returned to TNT Tropang Giga after steering Gilas Pilipinas to a fruitless stint in the FIBA Basketball World Cup last month.
Reyes, in fact, was seen calling the shots for the Tropang Giga during the Philippine Basketball Association Annual Rookie Draft over the weekend.
The Tropang Giga did not have a pick, but with Reyes at the helm, they were able to strike a draft-day trade in which they landed former University of the Philippines standout Henry Galinato.
The 6-foot-6 Galinato was selected in the second round by Rain or Shine before shipping him to the Tropang Giga in exchange for their first-round pick in Season 50.
Reyes confirmed to Daily Tribune that he will be returning when the league opens its brand-new season with the Commissioner’s Cup on 5 November.
“I still have two more years on my contract with TNT,” Reyes said.
“We’re just making sure that we are planning and preparing for the next conference.”
Reyes had already left the PBA to concentrate on the national team while serving as president and chief executive officer of TV5 Network.
But after a decade of hiatus, Reyes returned to the PBA and led the Tropang Giga to the Philippine Cup title two years ago.
“We’re the reigning champions of the Governors’ Cup, so we hope we can continue that success in the coming season,” Reyes said.
The Tropang Giga also won the Governors’ Cup title with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as import but it was credited to Jojo Lastimosa, who substituted for Reyes.
Lastimosa handled the Tropang Giga concurrently as team manager and coach and brought his winning touch to the franchise.
He expects to call the shots anew until such time that Reyes is ready to return.
“I’ll still coach the team until Chot will be ready coming back from a vacation,” Lastimosa said.
But TNT faces a lot more challenging task ahead with a banged-up line up.
Justin Chua is still in his recovery stage after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his knee while another big man, Poy Erram, is also experiencing a similar knee injury that would sideline him for quite some time.
With that, TNT was able to beef up its frontline by trading for Galinato and elevating 6-foot-4 Lervin Flores to its regular roster after campaigning in the 3×3 wars.