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    Will Chot coach Gilas if TNT makes it to PBA Finals? SBP responds

    Aug 14, 2022
    Chot Reyes, Nenad Vucinic, Jong Uichico, Josh Reyes
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    WILL Chot Reyes still be the one to handle the reins for Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the 2023 Fiba World Cup in the event that TNT reaches the PBA Philippine Cup Finals?

    There is still no definite answer to that question.

    Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios has yet to make a concrete response to that question as the federation continues to explore its options ahead of the games later this month.

    "Sino? Sa ngayon hindi ko masasagot with a definitive reply," he said on Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.

    [See Barrios assures SBP aware of fans' sentiments]

    Reyes' availability became in doubt given TNT's progress in the PBA Philippine Cup where they are only a win away from making it to the finals, leading Magnolia, 3-2, in their best-of-seven semifinal.

    The fourth qualifiying window features games away to Lebanon on August 25 and against Saudi Arabia at home on August 28. The PBA Finals will start either August 17 or 19, depending on when the semifinals will end.

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    Barrios said that he's in constant communication with Gilas team manager Butch Antonio regarding the matter, with Reyes mulling if he could juggle both of those obligations.

    "That time na nag-uusap kami [ni Antonio] and ang sagot niya, 'Tinitingnan, ED, kung he can do both.' Which is, really, could be complicated," he said.

    Sonny Barrios

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    The embattled mentor and concurrent program director did not handle the national team in the third window of the Asian qualifiers last June owing to his responsibilities with his mother ballclub, handing the reins to Nenad Vucinic.

    However, Vucinic is also working as a team consultant for Meralco, which is also in the thick of a best-of-seven semis series against San Miguel.

    Other members of Reyes' staff include Jong Uichico and Josh Reyes, who is also preparing Gilas Pilipinas Youth for the 2022 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship which is also set this August in Tehran, Iran.

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      Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is also part of Reyes' staff, but it is unclear if his loan deal with the national team includes an option to coach in one window.

      Barrios did assure that the federation is doing everything it can to field a competent team ahead of these series of games.

      "Siguradong mag-uusap yan hanggang sa taas, kung papaano natin tatalakayin 'yung Lebanon at saka Saudi Arabia games. Dahil yun po, kailangan manalo tayo doon," he said. "Gusto nating manalo doon."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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