Coach Chot Reyes will make the sacrifice of missing two games of the Talk N Text Tropang Giga in the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals series.
Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas president Alfredo Panlilio said this six days before the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team meets the Lebanon Cedars in their scheduled games in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window.
“This time, coach Chot Reyes is asked to make the sacrifice and I think we’ll accept that as an organization. It becomes two objectives that we have to go through with Chot not around,” said Panlilio.
Panlilio talked about the status of Reyes during Friday’s PBA Philippine Cup pre-finals press conference at the Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City.
Reyes leaves with the Team Philippines on Monday, giving them at least two days to get ready before they meet the Cedars at 2 p.m. in Beirut (7 p.m. Manila time) on Thursday next week.
The Tropang Giga and the Beermen will meet in Game 1 on Sunday, with Reyes present. After that, he leaves with the rest of Gilas on Monday for Beirut.
Reyes won’t be around in Game 2 on Wednesday and in Game 3 on Friday. He is expected to show up for TNT’s match with the Beermen in Game 4 on Sunday, a day before Gilas clashes with Saudi Arabia in a home game on Monday.
While he’s gone, Panlilio said it will up to assistant coaches Josh Reyes, Bong Ravena, Sandy Arespacochaga and Yuri Escueta to call the shots for Tropang Giga.
“Winning a PBA championship is important to us, very important. But there’s a bigger calling, and it’s for flag and country,” added Panlilio, who is also TNT’s board representative in the PBA.
Reyes said Gilas is now practicing with the 7’3” Kai Sotto, who arrived in the country on Thursday evening.
NBA star Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz will soon join practices by Saturday.