Philippine basketball

SBP president bares Chot Reyes resigned after SEA Games mess

Delfin Dioquino
SBP president bares Chot Reyes resigned after SEA Games mess

STAY. Chot Reyes will continue to call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas.


SBP president Al Panlilio says Chot Reyes is not at fault even as Gilas Pilipinas' struggles continue to pile up

MANILA, Philippines – Chot Reyes almost left Gilas Pilipinas following its disappointing Southeast Asian Games campaign that saw the squad fall short of a 14th straight gold medal.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio bared Reyes already resigned as head coach after the Philippines absorbed a stunning loss to Indonesia and settled for a SEA Games silver.

“Chot actually resigned after the SEA Games,” Panlilio told SEAG Network. “But it was not his fault. There are a lot of issues that we need to address to help him.”

The SBP refused to accept Reyes’ resignation, with Panlilio saying it is not ideal to frequently change coaches now that Gilas Pilipinas is gearing up for the FIBA World Cup next year.

After the SEA Games, the SBP tapped the services of Barangay Ginebra tactician Tim Cone and UP mentor Goldwin Monteverde to beef up Reyes’ coaching staff, which includes Nenad Vuninic and Jong Uichico.

“[W]e did not accept [his resignation] especially now that Tim, Nenad, Goldwin are helping out. It is also hard to change coaches over and over,” said Panlilio.

“Despite all the issues, despite all the odds, at the end of the day, his heart is for the Philippines, for the country. That is a big thing.”

Although Reyes’ tenure has been marred by a series of discouraging results, including a ninth-place finish in the FIBA Asia Cup, Panlilio praised him for accepting the job despite the unfavorable circumstances.

Reyes took over in February – just weeks before start of the Philippines’ FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers campaign – after the SBP announced that former head coach and program director Tab Baldwin “stepped down.”

“In fairness to Chot, he knew that he had no team that February window. I think he only had six players at that time. But still he took on the job because we asked him to do so,” Panlilio said.

Even as fans continue to call for Reyes’ resignation, Panlilio cleared him of the blame and instead pointed his fingers at Baldwin.

“[Chot] is Filipino and he could not turn his back on the flag even though he knew it was going to be very difficult for him. It was admirable of Chot, knowing that he might be facing a massive backlash if they did not perform well.”

“But he said I will do this for the county, you asked me to help you, and I will.”

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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.