FIBA World Cup

Chot Reyes ‘stepping aside’ as Gilas Pilipinas wraps up FIBA World Cup run

Delfin Dioquino

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Chot Reyes ‘stepping aside’ as Gilas Pilipinas wraps up FIBA World Cup run

EMBATTLED. Head coach Chot Reyes of Gilas Pilipinas against China in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Chot Reyes feels he should no longer call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas after a disappointing FIBA World Cup campaign

MANILA, Philippines – For Chot Reyes, his time as Gilas Pilipinas head coach has ended.

Reyes said on Saturday, September 2, that he is “stepping aside” from his post after a disappointing FIBA World Cup campaign that saw co-host Philippines miss out on its goal of clinching an outright Paris Olympics berth.

Chot Reyes ‘stepping aside’ as Gilas Pilipinas wraps up FIBA World Cup run

The Filipinos dropped their first four games before they broke through with an inspired 96-75 win over China on Saturday.

Regardless of the result of the match, though, Reyes said he already made up his mind that he should no longer call the shots for the national team.

“I always said to judge us on the performance in the World Cup regardless of what happened between the time I was appointed and today. I said judge us by our performance. Obviously, we did not perform,” said Reyes.

“We did not perform, and like I said in the last game, I take full accountability, and because of that I think it is time for me to step aside.”

Appointed by the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), Reyes took over the coaching reins for the national team in January 2022 when Tab Baldwin stepped down just before the start of the six-window World Cup qualifiers.

What came next, though, were a string of misfortunes that earned Reyes the ire of Filipino hoops fans.

Gilas Pilipinas settled for silver in the Southeast Asian Games for the first time in over three decades and failed to reach the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup for the first time in 15 years.

Undeterred, Reyes said judgment should be passed down in the World Cup, setting a goal for the team to finish as the best Asian nation to gain automatic qualification to the Paris Olympics.

Except it was not the World Cup run Reyes envisioned for his wards.

The Philippines lost winnable games against Dominican Republic and Angola then fell short of its comeback against Italy to close out the group stage without a single win.

Its miseries spilled over into the classification phase, with the Philippines falling behind South Sudan early and running out of steam down the stretch as it formally bowed out of the Olympic race among Asian squads.

“I hate using the word ‘resign’ because I’m not a quitter. I’m not a quitter. I would just like to emphasize to everyone who is asking for that,” said Reyes.

“But at the same time, I signed up to do a job and I did not deliver the result, so I think it is time to step aside and allow the SBP to make a decision for the good of the team and the program.”

Reyes said he already informed SBP president Al Panlilio and vice president Ricky Vargas of his decision, although the top brass of the beleaguered federation have yet to make a move.

“There is no decision as of now, as far as I know. But before the game, I told them this was going to be my last game already… regardless of the result,” Reyes said.

Reyes still goes out with a bang as he steered Gilas Pilipinas to its first win in the World Cup since it beat Senegal in the 2014 edition, where he was also the head coach.

The victory also prevented the Philippines from becoming the first World Cup host to go winless since Colombia in 1982. –

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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.