MANILA, Philippines – It is not unlikely that Chot Reyes will call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers despite another PBA finals appearance.
Reyes guided defending champion TNT back to the Philippine Cup finals for the third straight year as it completed its six-game conquest of Magnolia with an 87-74 win on Sunday, August 14.
“Gilas is the priority,” Reyes told reporters when asked about the coaching situation of the national team, with the fourth window coinciding with the All-Filipino finals.
The national squad will fly to Lebanon for an away game on August 25 before it hosts Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on August 29.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Cup finals will tip off the earliest on August 19 and will run the latest until the first week of September.
While the Philippines’ matches in the Asian Qualifiers will not fall exactly on the game days of the All-Filipino finals, it will be a juggling act for Reyes if he decides to coach in both tournaments.
In the third window, Reyes handed deputy Nenad Vucinic the coaching reins due to his commitment with TNT in the PBA.
Other coaches who may fill in for Reyes include assistant coaches Tim Cone and Jong Uichico, considering Vucinic currently serves as a deputy for Meralco.
For now, though, Reyes and TNT await their finals foe as San Miguel and Meralco dispute the last finals berth in a do-or-die Game 7 on Wednesday, August 17.
Reyes and the national team will start training for the fourth window on Monday – ahead of the arrival of NBA player Jordan Clarkson and big man Kai Sotto.
Sotto and Clarkson are expected to arrive in the country on August 18 and 19, respectively. – Rappler.com