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Chot Reyes now hesitant to talk about Gilas, says he's being 'misquoted'

Coach Chot Reyes has had enough of the fans misquoting him regarding Gilas-related topics. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Coach Chot Reyes believes every time he speaks about Gilas Pilipinas, some people, especially his critics, would interpret it differently from what he is supposed to point out.

So he told some reporters on Friday that he has become hesitant to talk about everything Gilas at this point.

"I'm really very hesitant to talk about Gilas because you know how much I've been misquoted, so ayoko nang magsalita," Reyes, also the TNT coach, said during the pre-Finals press conference of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Novotel Manila Araneta City Grand Ballroom. "I don't want to speak anymore for fear of being misquoted, so that's where we are right now."

Reyes has been getting some "heel heat" from the fans due to Gilas' struggles so far this year.

Some of them even chanted "Bring back Tab [Baldwin]!" when Gilas was losing big at home to New Zealand during the second window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Feb. 27.

The bashing grew worse when Gilas lost to Indonesia in the Southeast Asian Games gold medal game in Hanoi on May 22, the first time the Philippines failed to win it all in the SEA Games men's 5x5 basketball event since 1989.

And then the dismal ninth-place finish in the FIBA Asia Cup happened last month, highlighted by losses to Lebanon and Japan, two teams Gilas was expected to beat on paper based on the FIBA rankings.

Meanwhile, the "misquoting" of the fans on Reyes' statements reached boiling point when in an Aug. 7 interview, Reyes said that Gilas will use the Aug. 26 game against Lebanon in the fourth window of the WCQ as an opportunity to study the team's tendencies and that winning is not a major thing of concern.

Fans interpreted Reyes' words as if Gilas does not intend to beat Lebanon on the road.

"Sobrang pasong-paso na ako," Reyes further said. "I've been misquoted and off-quoted left and right."

However, in what might be one of his last statements Gilas-wise until probably the post-game interviews against Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, he said that Kai Sotto was to quickly jump into practice on Friday after arriving from Adelaide the previous night, while Jordan Clarkson, who has just arrived from Los Angeles, will join the Saturday training.

Reyes then told the reporters that anything Gilas should be addressed to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director and spokesman Sonny Barrios.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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