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MANILA, Philippines – Chot Reyes said he no longer wanted to be a “distraction” to Gilas Pilipinas after the FIBA World Cup as he vacated his post after a two-year run as head coach.
Admitting he failed to lead the Philippines to its goal of earning direct qualification to the Paris Olympics, Reyes said his decision to step aside is also predicated on his aversion to attract negative attention to the team.
“Because of everything that was going on, it will just be a distraction. It is just going to start affecting the players if I stayed on,” Reyes told the Power and Play with Noli Eala program of Radyo Singko in a mix of Filipino and English.
“I always say when I give workshops, part of knowing when to get into business is also knowing when to get out of business. It is the same here. I think that time is now.”
As the losses piled up against the Dominican Republic, Angola, Italy, and South Sudan, the boos only got louder.
Reyes and his wards broke through against China for the Philippines’ first World Cup win since 2014, but the embattled mentor already made up his mind that his time with the national team has ended.
Although Reyes accepted how things turned out, he said one of his regrets is missing out on a chance to find redemption in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where Gilas Pilipinas looks to win its first medal since 1998.
“The hardest for me is losing that opportunity to hopefully make amends for whatever happened in the World Cup. We have an opportunity to bounce back in the Asian Games,” said Reyes.
“Justin Brownlee is coming with all the players available. I think it is a really good opportunity.”
But Reyes knows the national team is in goods hands, with Tim Cone – his right-hand man in the World Cup – taking over the coaching reins for the Asian Games.
“I’m very, very glad that Tim has relented, changed his mind, and accepted. Now, we put ourselves in a good position to really do well in the Asian Games,” said Reyes. – Rappler.com