FIBA World Cup

Under-fire Chot Reyes willing to take the heat: ‘Just support the players’

Delfin Dioquino
Under-fire Chot Reyes willing to take the heat: ‘Just support the players’

NO AGENDA. Chot Reyes reiterates that he is coaching Gilas Pilipinas as his way to serve the flag and country.

Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

'I'd much rather get booed by the crowd than the players get booed,' says Chot Reyes as Filipino fans jeer him throughout Gilas Pilipinas' rout of Saudi Arabia

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes can take all the heat as long as the players are spared from it.

Reyes welcomed the heckling as the home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena booed him throughout the Philippines’ rout of Saudi Arabia in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday, August 29.

“For me, I’d much rather get booed by the crowd than the players get booed. Boo me as long as you want, just don’t do it to the players,” Reyes said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Reyes has been on the receiving end of online and public vitriol as fans continue to call for his resignation, deeming him unworthy of his position as national team head coach.

The fans at the Mall of Asia Arena made their feelings known by jeering Reyes from start to finish even as he guided the Filipinos to a lopsided 84-46 victory.

Although he previously admitted that the flak he receives has taken its toll on him and his family, Reyes only wants support for the players.

“Just support the players. That is fine with me,” Reyes said. “You can curse at me, you can bash me all you want, just support the team, support the players.”

Reyes reiterated that he had no ulterior motive when he accepted the job earlier this year from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) following the shocking exit of former head coach and program director Tab Baldwin.

Reyes offered to step down from his posts after the Philippines surprisingly fell short of the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games, but the SBP refused to accept his resignation.

“The only reason I’m doing this is for the country. This is just my service for flag and country,” he said.

“I’m sure you know how many haters I have. I know that there are also supporters – maybe not as vocal, maybe not as noisy. But as long as I can inspire one or two individuals, then it is all good.” – Rappler.com

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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.