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MANILA, Philippines – Chot Reyes is once again under a searing-hot spotlight after Gilas Pilipinas crashed out of contention, both in the 2023 FIBA World Cup that the Philippines is co-hosting and the outright 2024 Paris Olympics berth that the World Cup was offering.
With his team now 0-4 and already making dubious history as the first host to drop its first three games in 41 years, Reyes has left his fate in the hands of the governing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) as fans continue to call for his head on the proverbial chopping block.
“With regards to my personal future, that really is in the hands of the federation, but for me, myself, you all know I’m already retired and left this job several times,” said Reyes, who replaced Tab Baldwin in early 2022 – 10 years after his full-time coaching streak ended.
“But when I’ve been asked to come back, I couldn’t turn my back to the call of service for flag and country,” the 60-year-old mentor continued.
After his last club stint ended in 2012 with the PBA’s TNT franchise, Reyes went on to coach Gilas in spurts and had his shining moment in 2013 as the mastermind behind breaking the so-called “Korean curse,” with Gilas besting known tormentor South Korea in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship semifinals.
The five-time PBA coach of the year again retreated to a private life in 2018 before resurfacing in 2021 for a one-year stint back with TNT, preceding his fourth and current stint with the national team.
“As to what the future holds, it’s up to the federation,” Reyes repeated.
“They know my feelings. We’re in constant communication.”
For better or worse, Reyes, Gilas, and its disgruntled fans are stuck with one another as the host’s final 2023 World Cup game against China approaches on Saturday, September 2.
The fans will have one last shot to make their feelings known, while Reyes has a chance to go out on a winning high, if ever Saturday will be his Gilas last dance.
Time will tell if the SBP will indeed pass clamored judgment after the World Cup, or if Reyes will simply end the troubled partnership himself. – Rappler.com