By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to award TNT Tropang Giga’s chief tactician Chot Reyes with the Coach of the Year plum.
Reyes’ recognition will also extend his record as the mentor with the most Coach of the Year awards, bagging his sixth overall after edging Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Tim Cone.
It was a turning point for the Tropang Giga franchise after acquiring the veteran tactician heading into the last edition of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Reyes’ assumption as head coach ended Tropang Giga’s six-year PBA championship title drought and was responsible for their astonishing 10-1 elimination phase record while taking down Ginebra, the San Miguel Beermen, and the Magnolia Hotshots (now Chicken Timplados) on their way to the ultimate prize.
The man behind the dribble-drive offensive scheme was coming off a long lay-off before accepting the head coaching job for TNT.
During his very first year, the decorated coach immediately paid off the huge trust the Tropang Giga management gave him and won them a championship and a playoff campaign in the PBA Governor’s Cup.
Despite falling at the hands of the Gin Kings during the quarterfinals of the Governor’s Cup, Reyes still led them to an above .500 win-loss record and hasn’t missed the postseason under his tutelage.
Meanwhile, for the Executive of the Year award, San Miguel Corporation’s Al Francis Chua will be feted on the PBA Press Corps Awards night.
After a disappointing finish during the PBA bubble, Chua’s off-season moves for the Ginebra franchise helped them clinch another championship title by bringing back Justin Brownlee while adding key pieces to their campaign.
Chua was responsible for acquiring Nards Pinto from the Meralco Bolts while also adding hybrid forward Sidney Ownubere from the NorthPort Batang Pier.