CHOT Reyes acknowledged that he is “the most hated man in Philippine basketball” after the SEA Games debacle in Hanoi but reiterated he will continue to give his best as head coach of Gilas Pilipinas.
Reyes on Sunday said he is coping up with the tremendous hate he is receiving in different platforms by working in his different roles as Gilas Pilipinas coach as well as TNT mentor for the PBA.
“Believe it or not, it was a welcome relief for me,” the 58-year-old mentor said of shifting gears from Gilas Pilipinas to TNT which he led to a 78-72 win over Magnolia to start its PBA Philippine Cup campaign.
Reyes said he actually went straight to TNT practice the morning of his arrival from Vietnam, just hours after Gilas Pilipinas lost to Indonesia in the gold-medal game in Hanoi.
“Alam niyo naman ang nangyayari. With that loss, I am today the most hated man in Philippine basketball," the five-time PBA Coach of the Year said.
"Sabi ko nga, at least, upon my arrival, we arrived at 7 a.m. in the morning and I went straight to Talk ‘N Text practice at 9. For me, it was a gift of busyness just keeping myself busy and pre-occupied and doing my other stuff.
"Aside from TNT practice, I continued to oversee the Gilas practice with coach Nenad [Vucinic] and the other guys. I’m taking a look at the Under-16 preparations as well. They are leaving in a few days for the Under-16 tournament.
“I just keep myself busy. Like I said, there’s very little I can do with what happened, unfortunate as it is. All I can do is all I can do, really. Whatever is in front of me, the tasks that are given me here to coach Talk ‘N Text, help in the negotiation with Mikey Williams, to continue overseeing the [Gilas] program with coach Nenad and the college guys overlooking the Under-16,” said Reyes.
Reyes said he had also stayed away from social media.
“I’m completely logged off. I don’t see anything that is written about me. I’m not on Instagram. I’m not on Twitter. I’m not on Facebook. Aside from the gift of busyness is the gift of silence.
"And I’m very thankful because I’m logged off, I am able to do so many things. Dami ko nagagawa kasi wala ‘yun eh. That distraction is not in the picture. That’s one way I cope with it,” said Reyes.
Reyes said he is also thankful to his family and friends who have helped him after the SEA Games.
“With the help of my support system, my family, my true friends including members from you guys [media], I really appreciate when some of you reach out, ask me how I am, how I’m doing. Malaking bagay sa akin ‘yun.”
“And these guys,” referring to the TNT players, “really my refuge and my source of solace is my team. The players who continue that in spite of everything give their trust to me.”
Moving on from the loss in the SEA Games, Reyes vowed that he will do the best of his ability as Gilas Pilipinas coach.
“Like I said, all we can do after an incident like that is to just stand up. Ang daming nagtatanong, 'Paano ka bumangon.' Sabi ko simple lang, 'Bumangon ako. Hindi ko pinangarap. Hindi ko pinagdasal. Bumangon ako. I just stand up.'
"Nobody else can pull myself up expect myself. My support system is there, the team, the players. And as long as I know that I’m doing my best, I’m doing the job I’ve been asked to do, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability, regardless of what other people say,” said Reyes.