Chot Reyes will never get tired calling the shots for Gilas Pilipinas.
The multi-titled mentor said even if he had already retired from coaching in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), he would still carry the torch for Gilas in various international tournaments.
The 56-year-old Reyes had a rollercoaster career in the international stage.
Under him, Gilas Pilipinas clinched the silver medal in the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in 2014, paving the way for its return to the FIBA World Championships for the first time in nearly four decades.
But few weeks after the World Championship, the Nationals suffered a major blow as they finished seventh in the 17th Asian Games in Busan.
Reyes was also at the helm when Gilas Pilipinas figured in a brawl with Australia in the FIBA World Cup qualifying tourney in 2018.
The rumble was regarded as one of the darkest moments in Philippine basketball history as the Filipinos faced massive sanctions, prompting Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to tap Yeng Guiao as his replacement for the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and the World Cup in China last year.
Still, Reyes expressed his availability for another tour of duty.
“I am retired from professional basketball coaching, but I will never retire from serving my country,” Reyes said in an interview with The Link Podcast late Friday.
“If the country needs my services, why not, I will always be open.”
All in all, Reyes has five PBA Coach of the Year plums as he led franchises like Purefoods, Sta. Lucia, Coca-Cola and TNT KaTropa to impressive finishes.
He also coached Gilas Pilipinas in the Jones Cup thrice and was the mastermind behind the core of Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Ranidel de Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan.
He also turned TV5 Network into a sports channel, ESPN5, during his stint from 2016 to 2019.
“Basketball had given me a platform to serve my country and to give back even if I am not a business mogul who employs thousands of employees or a politician who has millions of constituents,” he said.
“All I am is a basketball coach and the only way I know to serve my country is by coaching the national team.”
He said coaching made him realize his purpose in life.
“My purpose in life is to help develop the next generation of Filipino leaders.