Monday, September 29, 2014

Fair Play: Demotivational speaker

LAST year, Gilas coach Chot Reyes was the toast of the basketball world, having guided the team to second place in the Fiba Asia championship and a slot to the World Cup for the first time in decades.

There were those who criticized him of his choices, for sure, but they were drowned by an adoring crowd ready to crown him as the messiah that would get us the long-sought gold medal in the Asian Games.

But in the World Cup of Basketball last August, more questions came and they became louder.


Sure, Gilas Pilipinas performed admirably and introduced the Filipino-type of basketball to a shocked world, but those close games against Greece, Puerto Rico and even Argentina led some to ask, “Would we have done better if we had a different coach?”

Now, as the Philippine campaign in the Asian Games is in shambles, with the team needing a miracle to advance to the semifinal stage, a lot are openly calling for his ouster, not just for his decisions made during the game but after it.

The coach who is also known as a motivational speaker ripped apart naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit, accusing the 6’11” center of quitting against Qatar.

He even said that he’d let Marcus go home if that’s what he wanted as his heart wasn’t in the campaign.

To say that fans were shocked is an understatement, but some have voiced their support for the embattled center who was benched in that loss to South Korea.

Coach Chot said that Marcus was being un-Filipino by quitting but I think a lot, too,
thought Chot crossed the line by ripping a player--a member of the Philippine national team-- in public.

Look, I don’t like how Marcus became a Filipino and why--just so he could play for us--but right now, he’s a member of the Philippine national team, a Filipino who carried the team on his shoulders to get us to where we are now.

That Chot doesn’t even consider him a Filipino is disappointing as the fiery coach said he’d field an all-Filipino team against South Korea. Well, here’s a news flash, Marcus is as Filipino as that neighborhood tambay who bets his day’s earnings on a basketball match.

Coach Chot said Marcus quit on the team, well, it seems the coach quit on Marcus, too.

Conveniently forgetting the fact that Marcus has been with the squad longer than the coach has.

Reyes placed the blame on the Qatar loss on Douthit, leading some to say that the coach should place the blame squarely on him. You win as one team, you lose as one team, too. Right?

Despite the two losses to Qatar and South Korea, we aren’t out yet but we need three miracles to make it to the semifinal round. The first one, which we got, is that Kazakhstan should win against Qatar and they did last night.

The next two is that the Koreans must beat Qatar and that we must win by at least 12 against Kazakhstan—both games are yet to be played as I write this.

But as one fan aptly put it, posting on social media, “Can somebody do the country a favor by locking up Chot Reyes in the locker room before the Kazakhstan game?”

It simply means, for that crucial game, we need the motivational Reyes back, not this version who blames his player for his loss

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