Chot Reyes is back at the helm of Gilas Pilipinas.
After making his return as TNT head coach during the 2021 Philippine Cup, the 58-year old Reyes is set for another comeback this time with the country’s national basketball team.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced their decision to reappoint Reyes after Tab Baldwin stepped down from his concurrent duties as Gilas head coach and program director.
The coaching switch came just three weeks before the country hosts the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
According to the SBP, Baldwin, who led the Philippine team to a sweep of last year’s FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, has opted to focus on his role as head coach of the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in the UAAP.
The country’s National Sports Association (NSA) for basketball added that the ongoing pandemic has forced the schedules of the collegiate league and FIBA to overlap thereby forcing Baldwin to relinquish one of his functions.
“It will be an honor to serve the country again. It is a big challenge, pero hindi ko matatalikuran ang tawag ng bayan,” said Reyes who was handpicked by Baldwin himself to be his successor.
SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan agrees with Baldwin’s choice.
“Chot is the sensible choice to take over Gilas coaching because he is very familiar with the program,” said Pangilinan. “He also has solid experience in international competition and FIBA games.”
“Considering the high-level performance expected of Gilas, we decided to go with the coach who brought the country back to the FIBA World Cup in 2014,” added SBP president Al Panlilio.
Reyes stepped down from his post as national team mentor in the aftermath of the Philippines vs Australia brawl in 2018.