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Chot 'just a soldier', says PBA commissioner Marcial

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Chot 'just a soldier', says PBA commissioner Marcial
Chot Reyes and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial

MANILA, Philippines – If now former Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes had been on the receiving end of intense criticism and backlash from fans over the Nationals’ disappointing campaign in the FIBA World Cup, he won’t be hearing the same from PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

Marcial said he respects what Reyes has done for the country’s basketball program. The longtime Gilas coach announced he is “stepping aside” following a 96-75 victory over China in their final game of the World Cup last Saturday to salvage a measure of pride.

In his parting shot to critics, Reyes reiterated that he takes full responsibility and that he just did what he could since he was again tasked to handle Gilas despite being “already retired from coaching the national team and through all the preparation.”

“If that is his opinion,” Marcial told reporters Monday at the sidelines of a World Cup-related side event at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

“Nagsilbi naman na siya sa atin,” he said.

In the end, Marcial said Reyes is just a soldier following orders.

“Sundalo lang si Coach Chot. Kung ano ang sabihin sa kanya, 'yun ang gagawin,” added the PBA chief.

“Nagkataon lang na medyo hindi naging maganda ang kapalaran.”

The Filipinos came up short in winnable games against the Dominican Republic and Angola, and also lost versus Italy in the first round. In the classification round, they yielded to South Sudan before finally hitting pay dirt against Asian rivals China for a winning exit.

Despite a 1-4 overall record in this year’s World Cup, the Philippines ended up at No. 24 — up eight notches from a dead-last 32nd-place finish in the 2019 edition of the tournament. The Filipinos have also made themselves eligible in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

Up next for Gilas is the Asian Games from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, China, for which the team will be scrambling to form a lineup and find a new coach. 

Marcial, for his part, reiterated that the PBA is again willing to lend players but admitted that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will be pressed for time to appoint Reyes’ replacement, especially if that coach will come from the PBA’s ranks.

“For Asian Games? Depende. Hindi ko malaman kasi 'yung ibang coaches, two weeks na lang eh. Ewan ko kung tatanggapin nila. Ongoing na 'yung mga practices namin,” he said.

vuukle comment

CHOT REYES

FIBA

FIBA WORLD CUP

FIBA WORLD CUP 2023

GILAS

GILAS PILIPINAS

PBA

WILLIE MARCIAL

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