Chot Reyes staying patient with 'slow process' in the early days of Gilas training
Gilas Pilipinas had 15 players on board for Tuesday's practice at the Meralco Gym. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes shrugged off the notion that he’s taking it easy as far as handling the national pool's practices is concerned this early in their buildup for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship.

Reyes has been letting his son Josh and fellow assistant coaches Jong Uichico and Jimmy Alapag do plenty of the talking when explaining Dribble-Drive sets and conducting drills to the pool members in practices.

The elder Reyes, though, looked more active on Tuesday night, although he played down the comparison of his activity from other training sessions.

“I don’t believe in hands on, hands off – I’m a coach. I coach as I see fit,” Reyes said after practice. “I take advantage and use my assistants a lot, and that’s all part of the practice plan.”

“In the end, as coaches, we are all teachers,” the five-time PBA Coach of the Year added.

On Tuesday, Reyes “emphasized the fact that we don’t necessary teach plays, but we teach our players how to play.”

“The focus in today’s practice was understanding how to play with each other, understanding how to take what the defense is giving them,” the eight-time PBA champion coach said.

“That’s why we made sure we had a lot of defensive work today,” he added. “Because that’s the next part of our progression – not only knowing what we want to do, but importantly how to do it, and most importantly how to play with each other.”

Reyes, though, lamented on the relatively slow development in practices owing to injuries, the latest to Calvin Abueva.

“It’s a slow process,” Reyes said. “We’re building things. We had fifteen guys today just like yesterday. The only problem is it’s a different set of guys from yesterday. We like the fact that there is some progress, but it’s still very early days, we’re still very far from the level we want to.”

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