Chot Reyes will once again call the shots for the PBA team that he helped turn into a league powerhouse.
TNT welcomed Reyes back as its head coach for the 46th PBA season on Saturday, February 13, with the franchise seeking to recapture its old glory.
"I have spent the best years of my career as a KaTropa and I look forward to this new challenge," Reyes said in a statement released by the team.
The 57-year-old started coaching in the PBA in the early 1990s and won a total of 8 championships, with 4 of those coming with TNT.
He almost guided the franchise to a rare Grand Slam in the 2010-11 season, but the team fell short of the Governors' Cup title, succumbing to Petron in the finals in 7 games.
Reyes last coached the KaTropa in 2012 and the team has won only two PBA titles since, one each with Norman Black and Jong Uichico.
"It is like a homecoming for Chot. He is a coach that gave us 4 championships," said TNT governor and PBA chairman Ricky Vargas.
Reyes replaced Bong Ravena, who got relegated as assistant coach.
Active consultant Mark Dickel, meanwhile, left the team after leading the KaTropa to two finals appearances over the last two seasons.
Vargas said Reyes wanted Dickel to remain as an active consultant but the Kiwi mentor wanted to look for other opportunities.
"We wish [Dickel] well as he moves on to new endeavors," Vargas said.
The only five-time PBA Coach of the Year awardee, Reyes also helmed Gilas Pilipinas and led the national team to a historic return to the FIBA World Cup in 2014.
Reyes' last coaching stint came in 2018, when FIBA suspended him for one game following the bench-clearing brawl that marred the Philippines-Australia World Cup qualifying match.
"Throughout my career, I have always tried to live according to my passion and purpose. My passion has always been coaching and building teams, whether in sports or business," Reyes said.
"[M]y purpose is to further the advancement of Filipino coaches, so we can, in turn, help develop the next generation of Filipino leaders."
"Coaching again in the PBA provides me an excellent platform to advance this advocacy." – Rappler.com
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.