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    Chot Reyes lauds Chito Victolero for coaching style, Abueva move

    Oct 18, 2021
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    CHOT Reyes is bracing for another difficult coaching battle as he goes up against Chito Victolero in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

    Tim Cone was a special challenge. Leo Austria was a special challenge. And now, it’s going to be coach Chito Victolero,” said Reyes, referring to his matchups in the Philippine Cup.

    Reyes has never faced Chito Victolero in a finals series.

    The former national team coach spoke highly of Magnolia's chief tactician, saying he has always been impressed with Victolero’s style of coaching even when he was out of the league for eight years.

    “Even when I was not in the PBA, just watching from a distance, I’ve always been impressed because he has a very different way of doing things but very effective,” Reyes said.

    The 45-year-old Victolero was hired by the Purefoods franchise as their head coach in 2016 following his stint as Kia assistant coach.

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    The move paid dividends for Magnolia, which won a Governors’ Cup crown in 2018 under Victolero.

    Reyes said young coaches like Victolero are an asset to Philippine basketball.

    “I think he is a credit to our profession. I think we need more young coaches like him to come in and just breathe life to the local coaching profession,” he said.

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      The Hotshots made their return to the finals of the Philippine Cup this year following a major move in the offseason where they were able to acquire Calvin Abueva in a trade with Phoenix Super LPG.

      Abueva was a key piece to Magnolia’s push to the finals, and in doing so, became one of the strong candidates for the Best Player of the Conference.

      Reyes said the move to bring in Abueva while keeping the core intact was a huge factor in Magnolia’s return to the finals.

      “I really love how coach Chito has put his team together. That trade to get Calvin, he resisted the urge to just break up his team, he kept the nucleus intact and add some great pieces with Ahanmisi and Calvin.”

      “And now, he is back in the finals. That’s three out of the last four all-Filipino. The record speaks for itself,” he said.

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      But as always, Reyes said it will take the whole team of TNT in order to beat the Magnolia squad in the championship series.

      “It’s a team game. It’s never about me and them. It’s always going to be a team game,” said Reyes.

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      PHOTO: PBA Images
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