Chot Reyes expressed his gratitude after Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio praised him for his dedication to the country during a rare interview with SEAG Live.
The SBP chief cited Reyes for accepting the role of Gilas Pilipinas program director and head coach despite all the uncertainties brought about by the sudden resignation of Tab Baldwin.
“He did not have players that’s why he brought in the TNT team to help out. It was a difficult time for the SBP because we did not have players,” said Panlilio.
“The coach [Baldwin] said he could not coach the February window and rather coach in Ateneo, and we had to ask Chot to step in,” he added.
The former team governor of the Meralco Bolts in the PBA then cleared Reyes of any wrongdoing and reaffirmed the federation’s all-out support for the embattled TNT mentor.
“Huge thanks, real appreciation to president Al Panlilio for speaking up and reiterating the SBP support for the coaching staff,” said Reyes shortly after the Tropang Giga claimed the first semis ticket in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup.
“It’s very, very difficult. It’s very difficult for my family. [But] somebody has to do the job. I’ve always said before that I will never turn back to my duty to flag and country,” he added.
With the ‘resignation’ issue now out of the way as far as he is concerned, Reyes pleaded to the national team’s supporters for patience as Gilas goes through another transition period.
“We’re trying to win, we hope we could have won more than we have lost, but it’s just we’re making do with the cards that are dealt us,” said Reyes. “That’s the only way I know how to answer. What you see is what you get. There’s no other vested interest on my part.”
“We’re in a period of transition. And in any transition, when things are going well, with transition, there’s a change. You would expect things to get worse first before it gets better.”
“That’s how it is in everything, in work, in life, in basketball, in sports. That’s why we’re asking for everyone’s continued support and patience.”