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    Sun, Sep 25

    SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios expressed his full support for Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes as he reiterated the call of the federation for support to the national team in the run-up to the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

    Barrios told mediamen during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that the SBP is doing its best to help Gilas get back on teack following underwhelming performances at the Southeast Asian Games and the Fiba Asia Cup.

    [See Clarkson committed to train with Gilas for six weeks ahead of World Cup]

    Barrios said he has seen Reyes' work since his days as head coach of Purefoods in the PBA during the 1990s, and his qualities that includes his attention to detail makes him the right person for Gilas.

    “I’m very supportive of coach Chot personally. I believe in his efforts,” said the former PBA commissioner.

    “It’s not easy for him to face failure,” he added.

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    Barrios revealed that it was him that Reyes spoke to when he planned to resign after the silver-medal finish in the SEA Games as he was with the team during the ill-fated campaign in Vietnam.

    “When we lost in Hanoi, he talked to me and he asked if he can resign and I stopped him,” said Barrios.

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    Barrios called on the basketball fans to remain patient, assuring that the SBP is working hard to restore order in the team after the disappointing defeats upon the orders of chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan.

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    “We don’t sleep on the job. I know it’s beginning to be a stretch asking for the populist to be more patient with us having coach Chot there. But I cannot do otherwise. Nandito po kami. Boss MVP, ang direction sa amin is to move forward, let’s not get stuck.

    "Obviously, may mga sabit at sablay kaya nga sine-share ko kung how to move forward. We are bringing in more brain power in Goldwin (Monteverde) and Tim (Cone) to help us think this through,” said Barrios.

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    Barrios also assured the public that they know the public sentiments.

    “We listen to all of them. We try to process them. It’s a non-ideal situation. We all hope that all comments will be aboveboard and professional in tone. Unfortunately, I guess it comes with freedom of expression and freedom of speech.”

    “We take that to heart dahil ibig lang sabihin nun, malaki ang pagdaramdam ng ibang sumusunod sa atin,” said Barrios.

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