FIBA: Chot Reyes back as Gilas Pilipinas coach


Posted at Jan 31 2022 11:23 PM | Updated as of Feb 01 2022 12:26 AM

Chot Reyes will once again call the shots for the Philippine national team. File photo. 
Chot Reyes will once again call the shots for the Philippine national team. File photo. 

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Chot Reyes, who steered the Philippines to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, has been appointed as the new head coach of Gilas Pilipinas.

This, after Tab Baldwin stepped down from the position.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced the development on Monday evening, with Reyes set to take over the national team by Tuesday, February 1.

The federation explained that Baldwin decided to relinquish his post as Gilas Pilipinas coach "to focus on his responsibilities to the Ateneo Men's Basketball Team."

Aside from being the program director of Gilas Pilipinas, Baldwin also calls the shots for the Blue Eagles and has led them to three consecutive championships in the UAAP. 

According to the SBP, the delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an overlap in the schedules of the upcoming collegiate basketball season and the preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 qualifiers.

The UAAP is expected to start in March, while the Philippines will compete in the World Cup qualifiers in late February.

"Chot is the sensible choice to take over Gilas coaching, because he is very familiar with the program," SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan said in a statement. "He also has solid experience in international competition and FIBA games."

"Considering the high-level performance expected of Gilas, we decided to go with the coach who brought the country back to the FIBA World Cup in 2014," added SBP President Al Panlilio.

Reyes coached Gilas Pilipinas from 2012 to 2014, with Baldwin taking over the squad until the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2016 before Reyes returned to the position.

He was on track to lead the Philippines to a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup but stepped down in the wake of the infamous brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia in July 2018 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

"It will be an honor to serve the country again," Reyes said. "It is a big challenge, pero hindi ko matatalikuran ang tawag ng bayan."

Reyes' return to the Gilas program comes a little under a year after he was appointed as head coach of the TNT Tropang GIGA, marking his return to the PBA after nearly a decade. He steered TNT to the All-Filipino crown in October 2021.

The SBP said that it "respects Coach Tab's decision and thanks him for his valuable contributions to the Gilas program."

"The national federation would also like to ask our countrymen to support Coach Chot Reyes, as we prepare to bring basketball's biggest stage to our home court," the SBP said.

The Philippines will co-host the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 together with Indonesia and Japan.

It remains to be seen how Reyes' appointment will impact the Gilas Pilipinas roster, which is currently composed of collegiate players and amateur standouts that the SBP selected in a special round of the PBA draft.