By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
BACK ON the helm as coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) after nearly a decade away from it, Chot Reyes said there is no denying the pressure that goes with it, but it is something he is ready to embrace.
Speaking on The Game over One PH on Monday night, Mr. Reyes, who is making a coaching back with the TNT Tropang GIGA, said he is looking forward to get back on the swing of things and welcomes the challenge of being a head coach anew in the PBA, including the pressure and the expectations that will be thrown his way.
“Once you accept a coaching job, there is always pressure, of course. That’s why it’s called the hot seat. And to a take a high-profile job like that with TNT, there are very high expectations. But I’m kinda used to and there is no pressure greater than the pressure I put on myself,” said Mr. Reyes.
The former Gilas Pilipinas coach last handled a PBA team in 2012 with TNT.
Mr. Reyes, an eight-time PBA champion coach, concentrated on the national team after that and later became a top executive of TV5 until he stepped down in 2019.
In bringing him back, the TNT management said it hopes to revisit the kind of success it had with Mr. Reyes as coach, which included four PBA titles, the last one during his last year as coach with the Philippine Cup crown.
Mr. Reyes takes over from TNT active consultant Mark Dickel, who ran the team along with coach Bong Ravena for the last couple of years.
Mr. Dickel was asked to stay with the team, but declined the offer to look for new opportunities elsewhere. Mr. Ravena though is still part of the coaching staff.
The comebacking coach said he has yet to sit down with his team to talk about the direction they are going to take moving forward.
But he shared that the philosophy for him is still the same and he just needs to adjust his system with the pieces that he has and the competition ahead.
“I’m a big believer in values-based, purpose-led coaching. I don’t think that’s going to change. The values that I believe in, the foundations of my coaching philosophy, they are going to be the same but the tactics, the strategies, the ways of doing things are going to be different depending on the personnel I have and depending on the competition,” he said.
Mr. Reyes went on to say that given the landscape in the PBA right now, work is cut out for them to achieve the success they want.
“It’s not going to be easy. This is not going to be a walk in the park. This is not going to be an instant thing,” he said.
With TNT, Mr. Reyes will lead a team bannered by veteran Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, Ray Parks, Jr., Troy Rosario, and JP Erram.
Also part of the squad are Ryan Reyes, Simon Enciso, Samboy De Leon, Lervin Flores, Jay Washington, David Semerad, and Almond Vosotros, as well as new signings Glenn Khobuntin, Dave Marcelo, and Ping Exciminiano.