FIBA: Will Chot coach Gilas in upcoming window? SBP still unsure

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2022 10:47 AM

Gilas Pilipinas and TNT head coach Chot Reyes.
Gilas Pilipinas and TNT head coach Chot Reyes.

MANILA, Philippines -- A high-ranking official of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) could not give a definitive answer when asked if Chot Reyes will coach Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

The uncertainty stems from Reyes' role as head coach of the TNT Tropang GIGA, which is currently competing in the semifinals of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. At the moment, they have a 3-2 lead against the Magnolia Hotshots in their best-of-seven series.

"Kahapon lang, pinag-uusapan namin ni team manager Butch [Antonio] 'yan," SBP executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios said on Saturday's "Power and Play," when asked about the coaching situation for the upcoming window.

"And, at that time na nag-uusap kami, ang sagot niya, 'Tinitingnan, ED, kung he can do both.' Which is, really, could be complicated," he added.

Reyes did not coach Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the qualifiers in June, with the SBP instead appointing Nenad Vučinić to call the shots. Reyes returned to his post for the team's ill-fated campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup, where they missed out on the quarterfinals.

The SBP will still discuss how they will go about the fourth window, which sees Gilas Pilipinas take on Lebanon on August 25 in Beirut, and host Saudi Arabia on August 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Should TNT make the finals, the schedule of the PBA championship series and the build-up to the qualifying games will almost certainly clash.

"To your question, sino [ang coach], sa ngayon hindi ko masasagot with a definitive reply," Barrios told former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala. "Siguradong mag-uusap 'yan hanggang sa taas, kung papaano natin tatalakayin 'yung Lebanon at saka Saudi Arabia games."

"Dahil 'yun po, kailangan manalo tayo doon. Gusto nating manalo doon," he stressed.

Barrios also stressed that the federation is looking to move forward from the recent spate of controversies surrounding the head coaching position. Reyes has been the subject of criticism since taking over for Tab Baldwin in February, and Gilas' string of poor performances has not helped his case.

"Move forward na tayo. 'Yung nakaraan, we learned from them," Barrios said. "Even the personalities in the controversy, if you will, nasa moving forward na eh."


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