Chot Reyes likely more advanced than most PBA coaches, says Tim Cone

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2021 04:29 PM

Chot Reyes likely more advanced than most PBA coaches, says Tim Cone 1

MANILA, Philippines -- Despite a nearly decade-long absence from the PBA, Chot Reyes should have no trouble keeping up with the other coaches in the league.

This, according to Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone who welcomed Reyes' return to the PBA after the latter was appointed as head coach of TNT Tropang GIGA, nine years since he last held the position.

The two coaches appeared together on "The Game" Monday night, where they recalled their intertwined coaching careers. Cone hired Reyes as an assistant in the 1990s when he called the shots for Alaska and they have gone on to battle each other many times since then.

"Coach Chot and I have been at it for a long time. I was really happy that he coached Gilas," said Cone. "It was great that he was gone, that made my life so much easier." 

"I really owe my PBA coaching career to Coach Tim," Reyes said, for his part.

Reyes last coached in the PBA in 2012, when he handled the Talk 'N Text franchise. Since then, Cone noted that basketball has evolved -- and so has the PBA. 

"It's much more up and down, much more offensive oriented, you really gotta try to keep up," he explained.

Moreover, there are now some teams that have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack when it comes to contending for titles. In particular, San Miguel Beer has dominated the All-Filipino Conference for the past half decade until Cone's Ginebra team seized the crown last year.

The Gin Kings have also won three of the last four Governors' Cup titles.

"There are really strongly established teams in the league that have been, I would say, a little bit more dominant in the last three to four years than in the years previously," said the multi-titled coach. "It's been harder to kinda crack into that top echelon." 

Yet Cone has no doubts that Reyes can vault TNT back into that level. 

The Tropang GIGA showed in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup that they were already on that right track, as they made it to the conference finals before falling to the Gin Kings in five games. 

With the experience that Reyes has gleaned during his time coaching the Philippine national team, he should be able to raise the Tropang GIGA's level even further, said Cone. 

"Chot has had that experience," he said. "While we were in the PBA, he had that even better experience being outside the PBA and playing on the world stage." 

Reyes coached Gilas Pilipinas from 2012 to 2014 and again from 2016 to 2018. He steered them to a breakthrough silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships and a historic appearance in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

He stepped down in July 2018, after the national team was involved in a brawl with Australia during the FIBA World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. 

Yet all his experiences from that time should serve Reyes well in the PBA, Cone said.

"That was where all the innovation was going on," the Ginebra coach said of the international basketball scene, where Reyes is now well-versed. 

"If anything, Chot will bring in a lot more innovation to the PBA. I don't think he'll be surprised by anything; he'll probably be more advanced than all of us," he added.

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