Chot Reyes eyes 3 months of preparation for Gilas in World Cup

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2022 05:06 PM

Photo from FIBA.basketball
Photo from FIBA.basketball

MANILA – Head coach Chot Reyes is hoping to have a full three months of preparation for Gilas Pilipinas before the upcoming FIBA World Cup in 2023.

As the Philippine team continues to struggle in several recent international tournaments, Reyes plans to have a longer training before the country hosts the biggest basketball tournament in the world next year. 

In an interview with Play It Right TV, Reyes tempered the expectations of Pinoy fans for the November window of the World Cup qualifiers due to the ongoing season of the PBA and collegiate tournaments. 

However, he is hoping that by mid-May 2023, the team can have a complete pool of players who are willing to undergo a rigid three-month training for the World Cup.

“We are really preparing for the middle of May of 2023 when the PBA will be off and we're going to get all the players we want whether it's in PBA or from college leagues to train for at least three months,” Reyes said.

“And that's the plan, to get full training preparation time. So that by August 2023, we will have a team as well prepared as the one we had in 2014 when we played in the World Cup.”

Despite the criticisms hurled against him and the team, Reyes has remained positive that they can build a strong lineup for next year’s tournament. 

“I'm very optimistic that given the preparation time and the availability of all given players, with all the players in the country making themselves available, whether they're in Japan, Korea or US,” he explained. 

“If all the players are available and we get them together for three months for full preparation and practice, then I am optimistic that we're going to put up a competitive team in the World Cup, the best team possible in 2023,” he added. 

Reyes is considering slot men June Mar Fajardo and Japheth Aguilar to be included in the pool of players.

According to the coach, they are also trying to scout Calvin Oftana and Jamie Malonzo if they will fit with the likes of Ray Parks Jr., Carl Tamayo, and Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena in the roster.

Ginebra star Scottie Thomposon is also being eyed for the national team. 

Reyes, however, did not want to make any final pronouncements about the Gilas composition in the World Cup yet. 

Gilas has been in the hot seat among Pinoy basketball fans after disappointing losses in the Southeast Asian Games, FIBA Asia Cup, and World Cup qualifiers.