Chot Reyes to miss at least two games in Finals due to Gilas duties

Published August 19, 2022, 4:07 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

TNT head coach Chot Reyes will be missing at least two games, most likely Games 2 and 3 in the PBA Finals, due to his duties with Gilas Pilipinas which will be playing in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

TNT head coach Chot Reyes (PBA Images)

The Tropang Giga’s schedule against the San Miguel Beermen will run smack to Gilas’ road game against Lebanon on Aug. 25 and the home game against Saudi Arabia on Aug. 29.

Games 2 and 3, which will be on Aug. 24 and 26, respectively, will sandwich the scheduled Lebanon game, making it impossible for Reyes to juggle both jobs at the same time. The game against Saudi Arabia is a different case, however, as aside from it being played at home at the Mall of Asia Arena, it will come after the third match of the series.

“Chot is being tasked to make the sacrifice, being said that as an organization and going back to what everybody said there and that, it now becomes a team objective, team purpose on winning the championship,” said PLDT President Al Panlilio who attended the PBA Finals press conference in lieu of TNT governor Ricky Vargas at the Novotel Manila on Friday, Aug. 19.

“We have to go through the two games that Chot won’t be around. I’m confident that the team will go together before he comes back, so we’re playing not only for the flag and country, we’re playing for each other, playing as a team, playing for Chot and the players are playing for each other also,” Panlilio added.

Comparing how a teacher would be proud of his student if he manages to excel without his guidance, Reyes said the performance of the team will be a gauge of how well he has coached them throughout the years.

“Every parent teacher is gauged by how well the student or son (does), if the student does well then the teacher does a good job, if the children do well, we are very proud that’s what makes us happy. So it’s a great measure of my coaching ability if my team can perform at a very high level even without me,” said Reyes.

“That’s what I’ve been looking forward to. If the team can continue to play at a very high level even in my absence then at least for me, personally I’ve done my job. I’ve coached these guys well,” he added.

Out to hold the fort for Gilas are assistant coaches Sandy Arespacochaga, Bong Ravena and even team manager Jojo Lastimosa. Reyes is also putting his trust in his players, especially his bonafide stars Jayson Castro, Mikey Williams and RR Pogoy to lead the team.

“It’s an opportunity for these players to step up and prove to themselves that they can do it even without their head coach. It’s an opportunity for the coaching staff to pitch in and do the job. That’s the way we look at it, not as a problem or setback, it gives us an opportunity and hopefully we get the results,” he added.