MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes did not go scot-free from the hammer dropped by FIBA on the Philippines and Australia following their infamous brawl during a World Cup qualifying game last July 2.
Despite not joining the full-blown melee, Reyes will serve a one-game suspension and shall pay a disciplinary fine of 10,000 Swiss francs (approx. P535,000) for “inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.”
He is one of the 12 Filipinos suspended by FIBA, including 10 Gilas players, for their involvement in the bedlam.
The 54-year-old tactician came under fire after the incident after being caught on live television telling his players: “Hit somebody. Put someone on his ass.”
But Reyes, in an interview on ESPN5’s SportsCenter, had clarified that he just wanted his wards to foul hard and not allow transition layups. (READ: Chot Reyes clarifies ‘hit somebody’ comment before FIBA brawl)
Former NBA champion and Australia assistant coach Luc Longley had also blamed Reyes for the brawl, saying the Filipino mentor incited his players to “come out and thug us.” (READ: Australia coach blames Chot Reyes ‘more than anybody’)
With the one-game suspension, Gilas needs to find someone who will coach the national team in its away game against Iran on September 13 at the start of the second round of the Asian Qualifiers.
And it definitely will not be deputy coach Jong Uichico as he will also serve a 3-game suspension for joining the Filipino mob that mauled Aussie Christopher Goulding. (READ: Jong Uichico apologizes for involvement in Gilas-Australia brawl)
If ever, Reyes will return to his coaching duties for the national team in Gilas’ home game against Qatar on September 17. The contest, however, will be done behind closed doors as ordered by FIBA. – Rappler.com