With focus solely on Gilas, Chot Reyes eyes more learning
Much of Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the Basketball World Cup that the Philippines will be cohosting here in August borrows from the blueprint the cage program used in its campaign back in 2014.
From putting together a coaching staff of proven veterans to eyeing overseas training camps, this edition of the national team is truly trying to replicate everything that went right during that milestone appearance in the tournament held in Seville, Spain.
And coach Chot Reyes, who will now be tasked to focus solely on Gilas, is looking to take a page from his old coaching playbook as well.
“The one thing I haven’t been able to do this time that I’ve done before in the last World Cup preparation was to watch,” he told the Inquirer recently.
“I was there in Fiba’s (International Basketball Federation) European championship (EuroBasket) in Slovenia at that time. I was also in the Ivory Coast for the [AfroBasket]. I went around and learned,” he added.
That opportunity afforded Reyes to see the game through a different lens, which ultimately became integral in the historic 81-79 victory over Senegal in that edition of the World Cup.
Reyes would’ve wanted to do some scouting for this current squad, but club duties with TNT have always kept him here at home.
“With the way [Fiba tournaments] are designed, I just could not do [that before]. Whenever they’re playing, we’re also playing [in the PBA],” he said. “I’m really looking for opportunities to learn, to continuously do that—observing teams and coaches personally.”
“[Basketball] continues to evolve and I’m … very hungry for continued growth and learning,” he added.