National coach Chot Reyes (Inspire Leadership Consultancy photo courtesy)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — If he can have his way, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes wants a developmental team to represent the country in the next Southeast Asian Games following their gold-medal conquest here last Tuesday.
Reyes said putting together a pool of young players that will prepare exclusively for the SEA Games will be beneficial to the overall Gilas program while also enhancing the country’s chances of winning another gold medal in the biennial meet.
“I think this is for the good of Philippine basketball. I think we should bring younger players to the Southeast Asian Games,” said Reyes.
The past two SEA Games saw PBA players reinforcing the squad.
Gilas settled for the silver in Hanoi last year, but redeemed itself with an 80-69 win over Cambodia anchored on the excellent performance of naturalized player Justin Brownlee, who had 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Reyes also suggested a longer preparation time for the developmental team for the SEA Games.
“Hopefully, we can get together earlier, put a team to compete in the next one in Thailand (in 2025),” said Reyes.
Reyes, however, said the final decision rests with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
“It’s the SBP that’s going to make that determination. That’s just my opinion,” Reyes said.
Reyes also reiterated he is stepping away from coaching Gilas Pilipinas in the (next) SEA Games.
“I promise I’ll never coach here in the SEA Games. At least, I was able to go out with a gold medal,” he said.