Chot Reyes talks about Gilas Pilipinas disappointment at Fiba World Cup | Inquirer Sports

Chot Reyes talks about Gilas Pilipinas disappointment at Fiba World Cup

/ 05:30 AM September 07, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas Chot Reyes Fiba World Cup

Chot Reyes is still willing to help the national program, but no longer as its coach. –MARLO CUETO/

(First of a series)

Yes, Gilas Pilipinas’ participation in the Fiba World Cup was a disappointing failure. Yes, he should be held accountable for it.


But even if for a shot at redemption, Chot Reyes will not be calling the shots for the national team in the Asian Games (Asiad) later this month.


“It will be too much of a distraction,” Reyes said on Wednesday, when he guaranteed that there will be a different coach on the national team bench for the continental Olympics slated in Hangzhou, China, even after the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) released a roster that included him as coach of Gilas Pilipinas.

“[W]ith everything that’s happening, I think if I continue to coach the team, I’ll be just too big of a distraction to the team,” he said.

The new coach is expected to be named on Thursday afternoon, when basketball leaders speak in a press conference that will be held in the PBA office, but it is still uncertain if the new coach will be a long-term appointee or a stop-game measure while the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) recalibrates the national program.

Reyes, who came under heavy fire after the team’s performance during the World Cup, previously announced he was “stepping aside” to allow the SBP to tap a new coach. On Wednesday, he provided clarity on the statements he made after steering the national team to a 1-4 record in the global showcase.

“We failed. We did not deliver. As simple as that. Our mandate is to be the best-placed Asian team and we did not deliver. So that’s the main reason why I stepped aside,” he said.

“That is my belief: Leaders should be held accountable. You hold yourself accountable for whatever the result puts in front of you. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t deliver then it’s time to step aside. That’s basically what I did because we did not deliver on the result that was expected of us.”


Lack of preparation

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes during a game against Dominican Republic in the Fiba World Cup. –MARLO CUETO/

Reyes narrated a timeline of things that went wrong for the national squad but the key points centered on the lack of preparation of the team that eventually competed in the World Cup.

“If we had practiced as a complete team maybe one or two weeks earlier, things would have been different,” he said.

“We had planned different schemes with Jordan [Clarkson] and Kai [Sotto] joining so late, we had to prioritize. That was really our worry; we were already running smoothly and [we couldn’t tell] how will this be affected when these guys come in,” Reyes said.

“Remember in China we looked so good and we did not have 25 percent of the team,” Reyes said referring to Clarkson, Sotto and Scottie Thompson, who sat out the exhibition tournament due to a hand injury.

With the Asian Games looming, the new coach that will be unveiled Thursday will also have a less-than-ideal preparations. Reyes can help whoever is named get ready.

“For me, I wanted to take myself out of the picture so that the federation can make a decision—so that they would no longer think about me, making it easier for them to not worry about me,” he said. “But of course, I’m willing to help the team or the program or the federation in any capacity, or any possible needs. That goes without saying. But I think, right now, the team needs a new coach.”

Also named in the initial POC roster were several World Cup standouts including Kiefer Ravena, who is already in Japan to fulfill his duties with the Shiga Lakes in the B.League. Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser is reportedly still nursing a foot injury, while naturalized ace Justin Brownlee is coming off a bone spurs procedure.

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said he already has informed the organizing committee of possible tweaks to the national rosters submitted, including those of the men’s volleyball team and the women’s football squad.

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The Asian Games unfurls on Sept. 23, and the Philippines—which finished only fifth in the previous edition—is looking to turn in a better outing, even at a time of uncertainty for the program.

TAGS: Chot Reyes, Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas

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