FOUR seasons, four rings, six Finals appearances including five in a row.
The figures definitely are testament to the dominant reign Chot Reyes has made in his stint as Talk `N Text coach.
Good things never last, however, so on Wednesday night on the same Araneta Coliseum floor where he had guided the franchise to a title right on his first year with the team in 2008, came the sad ending to coach Chot’s era courtesy of a 73-71 loss against Barangay Ginebra in their do-or-die encounter in the PBA Governors Cup.
“And so it ends…” posted Reyes on his Twitter account, a short, meaningful message that obviously failed to hide the sadness the man had felt.
Reyes, 48, called the shots for the Tropang Texters for the last time this season as he’s set to go full-time with the national team three weeks from now in his second foray as national coach in the last five years. A sixth straight trip to the Finals – and hopefully, a championship – could have been a perfect sendoff for him, but the franchise he helped turned into a mini-dynasty just fell short of pulling it off in the end.
Looking back, Reyes would rather not speak highly of what he achieved with this band of talented Tropang Texters crew.
“Just go figure it out,” Reyes said when asked how he will gauge his four-year stay with his fifth PBA team.
In all, Reyes won four championships with the franchise – half of his total of eight in a tie with Jong Uichico in fourth in the all-time best. The five straight Finals appearances was the longest by a team since San Miguel also made it to five in a row from 1999 to 2000.
Reyes came a victory short of steering the Tropang Texters to a historic Grand Slam last season, foiled in the decisive Game Seven of the Governors Cup by Petron Blaze Boosters. But more than anything else, he said becoming the first team to repeat as All-Filipino champions in the last 27 years would define his memorable stint with the franchise owned by Manny V. Pangilinan.
“Those back-to-back All-Filipino titles are gratifying more than our run for the Grand Slam,” Reyes admitted.
The Tropang Texters achieved the feat by dismissing the Powerade Tigers in five games of the season-opening Philippine Cup, and became the first ballclub to retain the All-Filipino crown since the 1984-85 Great Taste team led by former league MVP and recent Manila visitor Ricky Brown.
In all, during his run for the championship in the last six conferences, Reyes compiled an overall win-loss record of 87-40 -- 47-18 (2010-11) and 40-22 (2011-12).
It was truly one magical ride for Reyes that perhaps more than the titles won, the compliments coming from his players are the biggest reward the stylish and outspoken coach could ever get.
To the coach who motivated, encouraged, n inspired me to be the best I could be...Thx @coachot! 4 rings 6 Finals in 9 confs. An amazing run!
Thanks for bringing me to th Philippines 7 yrs ago, th lessons in leadership & for writing th foreword to my book. Saludo sa iyo @coachot
But I had to realize that you only wanted 2 bring the BEST out of me THANK YOU FOR BEING SO HARD ON ME!!! U made me a better person @coachot
A special thanks to @coachot for squeezing the best out of us and guiding us to 6 finals appearances resulting in 4 championships. I wish you all the best.
Even longtime friend Tim Cone, the B-Meg coach, joined in the fray and called Reyes “one of the greatest coaches in history.”
@coachot What an awesome run to the end. Only you could have pulled it off. You're a brilliant coach, Bud! Good luck with country and flag.