IT may sound wishful thinking, but it’s definitely something Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has on top of his mind.
The 58-year-old mentor shared he intends to tap the service of Fil-Am NBA coach Erik Spoelstra and be the foreign consultant of the national team as it primes up for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Erik Spoelstra as Gilas consultant?
Reyes said he’s keeping his fingers crossed the Miami Heat mentor and two-time NBA champion would agree to come on board and join Gilas Pilipinas.
“In all honesty, I hope it happens, the foreign consultant I want for Gilas right now, Eric Spoelstra,” Reyes disclosed in a special edition of the SPIN Zoom In.
“I hope he says yes. I hope coach E says yes.”
No offer has yet been made to the 51-year-old Spoelstra, whose Filipina mother Elisa Celino hails from San Pablo, Laguna, but Reyes said he’s trying to reach out to all his connections to make things happen.
“Hindi pa (nag-offer). Kapag in-offer ko na, sana umoo siya,” said Reyes.
Tim Cone is among those Reyes is counting on, the multi-title mentor being a known close friend of Spoelstra.
“Hindi lang si (Tim), marami kaming kakausapin para tumulong siya,” added the Gilas coach.
Spoelstra helped sustain the winning culture at Miami since becoming coach of the Heat in 2008.
While he won his two championships built around superstar players Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosch, Spoelstra also made a reputation for his work of developing young talents such as Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson.
Reyes brought up Spoelstra’s name when asked that if given the chance, who he would choose to become Gilas Pilipinas’ foreign consultant amongst predecessor Tab Baldwin, Barangay Ginebra and former national team coach Cone, and the late great Philippine team coach and San Miguel tactician Ron Jacobs.
Initially, he mentioned his wish to work again with Cone, with whom he served as deputy during their early days with Alaska.
“Siyempre kampi ako lagi kay Tim Cone because he’s a very good friend,” he said. “I love to have coach Tim by my side.”
After which he mentioned wanting to have Spoelstra as Gilas foreign consultant a part of his bucket list.
Ironically, Baldwin was the Gilas consultant when Reyes and the national team punched a return ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup after a 36-year absence following their dramatic 86-79 win over rival South Korea in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Men's Championship.