Former Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes has asked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) selection committee to strike out his name in the shortlist for the next Gilas head coach.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Reyes said “it is time for me to hand over that wheel.”
“I understand the Search Committee is scheduled to meet this week. In this light, I humbly request that my name would not be considered by the Committee as a candidate for the national team coach of Smart Gilas Pilipinas. This will allow the Committee to do its work unencumbered, take a broader view of other potential candidates to this national job, and enable the Gilas program to move on unfettered. Indeed, it is time for someone else take over the wheel,” the former Gilas Pilipinas head coach said.
“Despite the intense pressure that came with the job and the public scrutiny that goes with being the National Coach, this job has always been a unique privilege – I wouldn’t trade it for anything else,” he added.
In reaction to the statement, the SBP said it accepts Reyes’ decision and that the search process will continue.
“We respect Coach Chot’s decision. And we thank him for the hard work he has put in the last 2 years as head coach of the national team. He has brought honor and pride to the country under his leadership,” SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said in a report.
Reyes led the country’s basketball squad to a gold medal in the 2012 Jones Cup tournament, and to a historic second place finish at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship held in Manila.
Under Reyes’ watch, Gilas ended its drought in the 2014 FIBA World Cup as it edged Senegal for its first win in the tournament after 40 years, finishing with a 1-4 record.
But the national squad had a disappointing seventh place finish in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea.
Last October, Reyes lost the head coach post when SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan created a search committee for Gilas new head coach. Reyes’ name though was included in the list of candidates for the for the national team’s next top coach.