HWASEONG, Korea — Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he is leaving his fate up to management as calls for his ouster mounted following the team's stunning elimination from the Asian Games basketball competition.
Speaking just moments after a 67-65 win over Kazakhstan proved not enough to take Gilas to the medal round here, Reyes said he is open to any changes to the team - including the coach - but expressed hope that the program would be continued.
“The program continues,” said Reyes in the postgame press conference. “The players might not be the same. The coach might not be the same. But hopefully, the program continues because the goal now is the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship.”
When pressed by Filipino media about his statement, Reyes said he is open to being replaced as head coach of Gilas Pilipinas if management wants to do so.
“Our discussion with management is focus on 2015. So if they still want me to be the coach, I made a commitment to coach until the Olympics, I expect to continue and complete the commitment unless management feels otherwise,” Reyes said.
Reyes, who led Gilas to a respectable performance in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, said he understands the flak he has been receiving online from fans and takes full responsibility for all his actions.
“When I took this job, I knew that that was part of the territory. We are a basketball-crazy nation. We are passionate about basketball. And if we are unable to produce the victories the Filipinos want, they are upset. And I get that.
“I don’t shy away from the responsibility. I take full responsibility for all the decision and everything that went on in this tournament,” Reyes said.
Reyes, however, also hopes the Pinoy fans will also acknowledge the great strides Gilas Pilipinas made in the past years.
“I also hope that, in so doing (taking responsibility), everybody remembers the achievements and the great strides made by this program,” Reyes said.
After the Asian Games debacle, Reyes said the program will be re-evaluated in preparation for the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship, a qualifier for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
“The first step is to re-assess the program, evaluate, and plan for 2015 and that includes the players,” said Reyes.