Former National coach Chot Reyes (FIBA photo courtesy)

Chot Reyes, despite stepping down as the head coach of Gilas Pilipinas, expressed his strong willingness to support interim national coach Tim Cone in preparing for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

While he may no longer hold the official coaching position, Reyes remains available for consultation and collaboration with Cone.

Reyes officially resigned from his role shortly after the Philippines concluded its 2023 FIBA World Cup campaign with an impressive 96-75 victory over China, which softened the impact of four straight losses sustained previously by Gilas Pilipinas.

Given the sudden need for a new coach for Gilas, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, in partnership with the PBA, approached Cone, who had served as Reyes’ assistant during the World Cup. Cone accepted the responsibility to lead the national team for the Asian Games.

Reyes assured, “Tim knows he can reach out to me for any assistance, whether it’s to exchange ideas or discuss any aspect of the team’s preparations.” He recently provided input regarding the national team’s initial opponents in the Asian Games, which include Jordan, Thailand, and Bahrain.

“I shared my insights a few days ago, not only about our upcoming opponents but also potential challengers in the Asian Games. I am ready to continue offering my assistance,” he emphasized. “I don’t require any official title or position; I am willing to contribute in any capacity.”

The Asian Games are scheduled to commence on September 23, with host China expected to deliver a strong performance after a disappointing showing in the FIBA World Cup, where they won just one out of five games under the guidance of seasoned international coach Sasha Dordevic. The men’s basketball competition will start on September 26, with the Philippine men’s team facing Bahrain on the opening day.

Leading the Philippines will be naturalized player and three-time PBA Best Import Justin Brownlee, along with notable players like June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Scottie Thompson, who are among the remaining core members of the Gilas squad from the World Cup. (ai/mnm)