THE P50,000 fine Chot Reyes incurred for his endgame outburst against officiating in TNT’s debut outing against Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup was minimal compared to the loss the Tropang Giga suffered against San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
“A bigger heartbreak for us was our loss in the finals. That’s the bigger heartbreak for this team,” Reyes admitted going to the team’s game against Rain or Shine on Saturday.
The Tropang Giga were on the verge of retaining the all-Filipino crown when they led the series, 3-2. But they failed to close out the Beermen, who swept the last two matches including the winner-take-all Game 7 (119-97) to regain the championship they last won in 2019 yet.
Ironically, three of TNT’s losses in the finals didn’t have Reyes on the bench.
He missed Games Two and Three as he took care of his duty with Gilas Pilipinas that played Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in the August window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. Sandy Arespacochaga was the one who called the shots for TNT.
Worse, Reyes was also not around in the all-important Game Seven as he was placed under the league’s health and safety protocol. Josh Reyes took over the reins in behalf of his father.
The 59-year-old Reyes said that was definitely on him.
“The biggest responsibility was mine. I wasn’t there for the team in three out of the seven games, so we had a long talk about it,” he said.
In TNT’s team building prior to the conference, the Tropang Giga’s finals breakdown was brought up.
“We had a long team discussion about it in our team building when we went on our training camp. So hopefully we have gotten closure on that incident,” said Reyes.
“We had a long talk about it. I thought it was important for us to gain closure from that finals series.”
It didn’t help any the Tropang Giga kicked off their campaign in the mid-season meet on a wrong foot as they allowed and watched the Magnolia Hotshots crawled their way back and win the game, 94-92, on two game-deciding free throws by Paul Lee off a contentious foul called against Calvin Oftana.
Reyes was fuming mad after the match and stormed to the table officials as he contested the whistle made against Oftana. For his behavior and violation of the PBA rule, he was fined a considerable amount by the Commissioner’s Office.
Eventually, TNT was quick to right the ship following a bounce back win over NorthPort, 117-93, behind the blazing shooting hands of Roger Pogoy.
“It’s just very important for us to just get back to playing and playing the right way, and the way we always want to play, with the kind of pace that we want to play,” said Reyes.