Following the resignation of Chot Reyes, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio stressed that the federation will focus first on the completion of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup before deciding on the vacated post of Gilas Pilipinas head coach.
In an interview with News5’s Martie Bautista, Panlilio stated that they had not taken any action in response to Reyes’ decision to stand down as head coach of the national team following the conclusion of their World Cup campaign.
Panlilio stated that the SBP is currently focused on the World Cup, which has now entered the final round.
“We wanted to first complete the World Cup. The focus should be on the World Cup,” said Panlilio when asked to comment on Reyes’ decision to step down.
“Gilas has ended its campaign with a big win against China. We still have this week to run the most important phase of the tournament which is the final phase. The quarters starts tomorrow. The four teams are flying in today,” he added.
Reyes claimed that he informed Panlilio and vice chairman Ricky Vargas that he will resign as Gilas coach regardless of the outcome of the game against China last Saturday.
“I’ve informed Mr. Panlilio and Mr. Vargas. But there’s no decision as far as I know. I don’t know about them. But before the game, I told them this is gonna be my last game already regardless of the result,” said Reyes shortly after Gilas ended its campaign with a 21-point rout of China.
Panlilio hinted that no decision has been made on Reyes or on the Gilas coaching vacancy.
“That’s the main focus for us. Finish that, complete that first,” insisted Panlilio in reference to the ongoing quadrennial tournament.
However, it has become clear that a choice must be made as soon as possible since the Philippines is scheduled to compete in the 19th Asian Games from September 23 to October 8.