Mutual respect between coaches Reyes, Victolero ahead of PBA Finals
MANILA, Philippines — Their teams may be rivals but both champion coaches Chot Reyes of TNT and Chito Victolero of Magnolia have nothing but utmost respect for each other ahead of the Philippine Cup Finals.
“I’m very flattered and honored. Ever since I started coaching, he’s one of the coaches I look up to together with the other coaches like coach Yeng (Guiao), coach Norman (Black) and coach Tim (Cone). I have a high respect for him and I’m very excited to get this chance,” Victolero said of Reyes in Filipino on Tuesday during the pre-finals presser on the eve of Game 1.
“I remember getting goosebumps when I went up against coach Tim in my first semifinals. And you know, facing another brilliant mind and one I look up to even before is a big opportunity for me. Hopefully, I get coach Chot’s respect this series,” added Victolero, who has been calling the shots for Magnolia since 2016 when Cone transferred to Barangay Ginebra.
The admiration is mutual with Reyes, who is in his first conference back with TNT after leaving his post nine years ago, also offering high praise for his counterpart.
“Contrary to what Coach Chito said earlier, I have huge respect for him,” said Reyes, an eight-time PBA champion coach and five-time Coach of the Year. “In case you don’t know, coach Chito, we used a lot of the stuff that you did in our preparation against San Miguel, because we saw how well you play San Miguel.”
“That’s a huge measure of our respect for your coaching,” he added. “I’m not afraid to admit that because I think as coaches, our job is we have to be lifelong learners. Coach Chito has my utmost respect.”
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