Worst Finish in Asian Games: Should Chot Reyes be fired from Gilas Pilipinas?


Most of the Filipinos around the world are disappointed about the underperforming basketball team “Gilas Pilipinas” which didn’t enter into the semifinals of the Asian Games, after playing well last month in Spain for the FIBA World Cup 2014. This is the worst Asian Games performance of the Philippine basketball, after losing to China 78-71.

Up front, much of the blame was put on the shoulder of coach Chot Reyes, who barred Marcus Douthit in the crucial game against South Korea Saturday, which Gilas lost by two points and squandered a 16-point lead in the third quarter. Many basketball experts believed that the Philippines should have won against South Korea if Douthit played.

Reyes allowed Douthit to play Sunday’s match which Gilas won against Kazakhstan. Gilas needed to win at least 11 points over the Kazakhs to enter into the semifinals. Again, Gilas Pilipinas allowed Kazakhstan to cut the lead and eventually ended up to a two-point win.

The coaching style of Reyes is problematic. He didn’t recognize his top five players on the squad. He used different combinations throughout the game, without using his top players to mingle together for close games. For example against Qatar, he started the game with LA Tenorio. Not even 30 seconds pass by, he took out Tenorio and entered Jimmy Alapag. Just few seconds into the game, the Gilas Pilipinas coach was panicking. What’s the sense of removing your starting pointguard without even letting him touch the ball?

Coach Reyes substitution pattern confuses even the players, removing them out of their respective roles of the game. While the players always tried to adapt to the situation, Chot Reyes always destructed the chemistry of the players. June Mar Fajardo was out of his world, playing like EJ Feil or Bonel Balingit in that game against Qatar by turning the ball over several times (couldn’t catch a ball for an easy two points, traveling, three seconds, offensive foul, and even foul that let the opposing team to take two free throws plus a possession), Reyes allowed him to stay on the game until the last three minutes, which Qatar already took the lead.

Blame it on the issue that Gilas was not prepared to play with Douthit, an abrupt replacement for Andray Blatche.

Part of the failure of the Gilas Pilipinas disappointing outcome in the Asian Games could be on Reyes. However, how about the Samahang Basketbol the Pilipinas (SMP) inability to understand the rules on players eligibility to play for the Asian Games? Do we just pretended that we have different interpretation of the rules?

In terms of lending the players to the Asian Games, PBA also has the shortcomings. Reyes wanted Greg Slaughter to join Gilas, but he rejected the invitation.

There are plenty of things to re-assess for the Philippine basketball to take into another level. Sadly, the sport that Filipinos loved so much, couldn’t even be in the top Four in the Asian Games.

Chot Reyes, one of the greatest coaches in the history of the Philippine basketball,  was right when he said, ““The players might not be the same, the coach might not be the same but the program continues”.

Do you think Gilas Pilipinas needs a new coach? Who is your choice to replace Chot?

Garry loves writing, editing and ranking keywords in the search engines. He has been writing and promoting his blogs in the past seven years. His passion for writing leads him create this sports news site.

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