Chot gets crack as Gilas 2 coach; Reyes deserves position–MVP
MANILA, Philippines—Vincent “Chot” Reyes has earned another crack at steering the national team after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas picked him as head coach of Smart Gilas Pilipinas 2.
SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan made the appointment official Sunday, squeezing in the final piece of the puzzle that confirmed reports of a rigodon among the coaches of teams under the MVP group.
At the same time, Pangilinan announced that Ateneo coach Norman Black will take over the Talk ‘N Text coaching portfolio in the next PBA season after going for a “five-peat” with the Blue Eagles in the coming UAAP.
The owner of TNT and Meralco in the pro league also said that Reyes would continue to mentor the Tropang Texters until the end of the current season in their quest to finally nail a coveted grand slam, which they blew last year.
“While we are extremely happy with Chot’s performance with our TNT team these past years, our duty to flag and country dictates that we engage the right person for this important national position,” said Pangilinan.
“After having been Gilas’ assistant coach for the past two years, and with a sterling track record as coach, I believe Chot deserves this appointment,” he added.
Reyes was one of Serbian coach Rajko Toroman’s deputies when Smart Gilas 1 finished fourth in the Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, the qualifier for this year’s London Olympics that the Nationals missed.
The articulate TNT bench strategist piloted the Tropang Texters to four titles, including the Philippine Cup last conference. In eight conferences with the PLDT/Smart franchise, Reyes brought the ballclub to five Finals appearances.
“He will continue to be the head coach of the Talk ‘N Text team until the end of the current PBA season, which will happen sometime in August. Thereafter, Chot will concentrate full time on preparing Gilas for the 2013 Fiba-Asia tournament,” said Pangilinan.
Three continental slots for the 2014 Fiba World Championship in Spain are at stake in the Asian championship. Reyes coached the PBA-backed Nationals in the 2007 Asian championship in Tokushima, Japan, and finished ninth in his first coaching stint with the PH five.
While Reyes continues to call the shots for TNT in their grand slam bid, Meralco consultant Jong Uichico will get his hands full at Smart Gilas, whose core will come from Sinag Pilipinas, a bunch of collegiate standouts which brought home the gold in the Southeast Asian Games.
Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio is also an assistant coach while operations manager Butch Antonio takes care of the day-to-day affairs of the team.
Last Saturday, Ateneo announced that Black will coach the Blue Eagles for the last time this season, but will serve as the school’s consultant until 2014.
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