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I will always support the players because they play their hearts out everytime.
But Chot Reyes can’t coach. He just doesn’t have it. That’s not only an open secret many have spoken about but it’s a horrible reality and embarrassment that has unfolded right in our own backyard with those two bad losses.
The team has a two-time Grand Slam winner and its winningest coach, Tim Cone (Chot’s former boss), and it has Jong Uichico, the protege and long-time deputy of the late Ron Jacobs, possibly the best national team coach we have ever had, both sitting as assistants (!!!!).
Both understand programs and have built successful teams based on programs. Both understand that basketball is as much science as it is sport and that while “puso” will get you places, in basketball, it is plays that get you the W. Both have coached internationally, successfully. Both have a distinct philosophy that informs their coaching (In the meantime, the other guy was worried that if he played Kai Sotto, the matchup would be wrong – I imagine that if you had a 7-footer who could shoot from outside and inside, the one worrying about the matchup should be the other coach?).
But the genius gods of Philippine basketball insist on the same guy. That’s the textbook definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different.
International basketball for us is dead, essentially.
Resuscitating it would mean many things would need to be done, a lot of them yesterday. Here are some thoughts:
- Start with the basketball gods and their monopoly of wisdom and resources – I mean, just because it’s emblazoned on the players’ jerseys doesn’t mean every choice they make is the smart one.
- Then put a program in place, no longer to qualify for the World Cup or Olympics but to simply get better even if that requires dismantling the entire team and starting from scratch – on the international level, we are essentially starting from the ground up (Yeng Guiao is correct).
- Then, the team (that includes the coaches) must be a team, not just a pick up squad that is cobbled together for specific tournaments even if that entails reducing the so-called professional league into a one-conference sideshow.
You don’t have a team when the players and coaches don’t have collective muscle memory, reflexive instincts, trust and camaraderie, shared experiences of horrible, heart-wrenching losses that build character and celebrations of victories that build camaraderie simply because they’re put together at essentially the last minute.
They must play together, travel together for extended periods; they must face opponents far tougher than them – it is the only way to get better and to get players to trust each other and to know what to do on court when one isn’t having a good day (see Jones Cup 1985; see ABC Youth 1982). If that means not including an excellent Jordan Clarkson, then so be it. Basketball remains a team game, not a solo performance.
Then the coaching pool must be expanded and all other games – including the political ones and especially the commercial ones – must be set aside so that the coaches can concentrate on basketball.
But what do I know, I am just a very frustrated basketball fan, not one of those genius basketball gods. – Rappler.com