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Chot Reyes to miss Games 2, 3 of PBA Finals due to Gilas duties

Chot Reyes will not be with TNT in Games 2 and 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--TNT coach Chot Reyes will not be around in two games in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as he throws his other hat in as Gilas Pilipinas' mentor.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio confirmed on Friday that Reyes will be in Beirut for Gilas' road game against Lebanon in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and will miss Games 2 and 3 of the Tropang Giga's championship series against the San Miguel Beermen.

Panlilio, who represented TNT being the PLDT president during the PBA Philippine Cup Finals press conference at the Novotel Manila Grand Ballroom, said that while winning it all remains the goal, representing the Philippines is just too tough to let go.

"I think from the PBA's point of view, winning the PBA championship is very very important to us. As Chot said, 'The organization pushes excellence, and we wanna always do well,' but there's a bigger calling at this point: it's flag and country, and I think we as an organization have always been ready to answer to that call," Panlilio said.

Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, while Game 3 is on Aug. 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The said games will fall within the time Reyes will be in Beirut to coach Gilas.

Regarding who will take over for TNT while Reyes is out, Panlilio said it is still up for discussion.

"I haven't spoken to Chot about that. I know he's talking to his coaches, and the players have to also accept that he'll be out," Panlilio further said.

He hopes that the Tropang Giga will "hold the fort" against the Beermen in the games that Reyes will be gone.

"It's something we need to do. We have to hold the fort for the team," Panlilio further said.

Reyes will be at TNT's helm when the series begins on Sunday night also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

He is also likely to coach the team the following Sunday in Game 4 also at "The Big Dome", the night before Gilas hosts Saudi Arabia at the MOA Arena.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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