Chot Reyes steps aside as PH men's basketball team head coach

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — Chot Reyes decided to step down as the Philippine men's national basketball team head coach.

Reyes released a statement on his official Twitter account Tuesday.

"We have long worked for full support from all of Philippine basketball's major stakeholders - from Coach Rajko Toroman's time, to my stint in 2013 to 2014, then Coach Tab Baldwin, until my current tenure."

The 55-year-old veteran tactician said he will focus on the national team program for 2023 International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the country together with Japan and Indonesia.

"Now that the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) has opened its doors fully to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the national team, it is time for me to step aside and contribute in a different capacity, focusing on the 2023 program."

Reyes' first international stint as head coach was in 2005 when he led the national squad to a fifth place finish in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup and third place finish in the William Jones Cup.

His most remarkable accomplishment was steering the national team to a silver finish in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship held in the country, which gave the Philippines a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain — a feat that has not been done for four decades.

He was also responsible for giving the country its eighth title in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association in 2017.

However, a free-for-all on-court brawl between the national team and Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan resulted to Reyes receiving a one-game suspension from FIBA. This prompted the SBP to tap the services of Yeng Guiao to call the shots in the recently concluded Asian Games in Indonesia and the upcoming fourth window of the World Cup Asian qualifiers.

READ: FIBA suspends 13 players, coaching staff involved in Gilas-Australia brawl

READ: Guiao to call shots for Gilas in upcoming window of FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

The national squad currently holds the third spot in Group E of the qualifiers with a 4-2 record. They will go up against Iran on September 13 in Tehran and Qatar on September 17 behind closed doors.

ALSO READ: Speed is PH men's basketball team's advantage against tall Iranians, says coach

Reyes offered nothing but encouraging words to say to Guiao and the current team.

"Together with all the players & coaches who have sacrificed and put their careers on the line for flag and country, we wish Coach Yeng and the current team great success, as they continue the World Cup journey. We are with you. Once Gilas, always Gilas," Reyes said.