Chot Reyes hopes Gilas comes out ‘better and stronger’ after skirmish

Delfin Dioquino
Chot Reyes hopes Gilas comes out ‘better and stronger’ after skirmish


The national team coach offers an apology but also sends gratitude to those who backed Gilas amid criticisms

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes hopes the whole team will “come out better and stronger” as they move forward from the basketbrawl that tarnished their default loss to Australia last Monday, July 2. 

In an Instagram post, Reyes offered his apology to those who have been offended for what pundits claim as the the ugliest on-court melee in recent memory, but also thanked people who backed Gilas amid the criticisms. 

“Our prayer is that we come out better and stronger from this as we affirm that it is our honor to fight for our country ’til we can’t fight anymore, with all our hearts,” he wrote. 

Reyes, Gilas players and national team deputy coach Jong Uichico, who also joined the fight, have been heavily criticized for their involvement in the bench-clearing skirmish. 

Even Australia assistant coach Luc Longley slammed Reyes for inciting the Filipinos “to come out and thugs us” and letting Gilas players to take a selfie right after the brawl. (READ: Australia coach blames Chot Reyes ‘more than anybody’)

But Reyes, who was caught on record telling his players to “hit somebody,” clarified that he just wanted his wards to foul early as the Aussies were beating them in transition plays. 

“The past few days have been extremely difficult for us at Gilas. Each player and coach who got involved in the incident has apologized, and as head coach, so have I,” added Reyes. (READ: Chot Reyes defends Gilas’ actions in brawl with Australia)

“Again, to those we have offended, we are sorry. To those who have stood by us, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” (READ: Pogoy, Abueva break silence, apologize for FIBA brawl)

Gilas awaits for potential sanctions and penalties as FIBA opens disciplinary proceedings against the Philippines and Australia.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.