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Chot Reyes returns as TNT coach

Chot Reyes is back as TNT coach. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Chot Reyes is back as a PBA coach.

TNT announced on Saturday night that the multi-titled mentor will once again be its chief tactician, nine years after he left the team to eventually coach the national team full time.

“It’s like a homecoming for Chot. He is a coach that gave us four championships. We look forward to a successful relationship with Coach Chot,” said Ricky Vargas, the Tropang Giga's representative to the PBA board of governors, in which he is the chairman.

Reyes will take over the TNT coaching spot from the coach-consultant tandem of Bong Ravena and Mark Dickel.

“We would like to thank TNT Tropang GIGA active consultant Mark Dickel for all that he has done for the team. He brought us to the PBA Finals twice in the two years that he was onboard. We wish him well as he moves on to new endeavors,” Vargas added, baring that Reyes wants Dickel to stay with the team only that the latter wants to explore new opportunities, eventually opting to stay in Las Vegas.

With Reyes at the helm, TNT won four PBA titles, including back-to-back Philippine Cup titles in 2011 and 2012 and coming just close to a 2011 grand slam after also winning the Commissioner's Cup championship in that year.

"I have spent the best years of my career as a ka-Tropa, and I look forward to this new challenge," Reyes said.

However, he had to leave the Tropang Giga to go full time with Gilas Pilipinas Men.

In what would be his second stint as national team coach, Reyes led Gilas Men to a silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup, which qualified them for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, ending a 36-year wait.

Smart president and CEO Al Panlilio believes these accolades merit Reyes another stint as TNT coach.

“Basketball is in the DNA of Filipinos, especially us at PLDT and Smart. That is why we are looking forward to working with Coach Chot as he leads TNT Tropang GIGA in the coming PBA season,” said Panlilio, also PLDT's chief revenue officer. 

Reyes believes that his new coaching stint would serve as an avenue for him to champion his goal.

“Throughout my career, I have always tried to live according to my passion and purpose. My passion has always been coaching and building teams, whether in sports or business. And my purpose is to further the advancement of Filipino coaches, so we can, in turn, help develop the next generation of Filipino leaders. Coaching again in the PBA provides me an excellent platform to advance this advocacy.” he added.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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