NEW  TLK & TXT HEAD  COACH CHOT  ITCHING  TO  GIVE  PHONE  PALS  PBA  TITLE

MANILA, JANUARY 29, 2008
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - On his first day at the job, as the new head coach of Talk N Text, Chot Reyes talked about winning his first title for the Phone Pals in the PBA.

First, the 44-year-old mentor said he must talk to the players whom he was scheduled to meet last night, forge some new ties and renew some old ones, and try to make a lasting impression.

“We have to make them believe that they can win again,” said Reyes, who came in to replace Derrick Pumaren, who spent two years with Talk N Text but was not given an extension.

Reyes, winner of four titles with Purefoods and Coca-Cola, said the fact that the team has never won the title since the 2003 All-Filipino could make it easier for him to motivate his players.

“The problem with losing is it becomes a habit. And maybe this team is in that stage. But this is a strong team. We have the material,” said Reyes last night at the PLDT main office in Makati.

Talk N Text board representative Ricky Vargas and team manager Frankie Lim introduced Reyes to some members of the press as their coach until the end of the 2010 season.

“Chot signed a contract until 2010. And that’s the longest contract we’ve had with a coach. We’re very hopeful but we will also be patient with this change,” said Vargas.

“Chot likes pressure, conflict and diversity and this is the place he can get it. We’re very, very excited,” added Vargas who earlier in the day announced that Pumaren will not get a contract extension.

“He’s a good addition to our group. He will bring a lot at the table in motivating the players plus his great knowledge of the game,” said Lim, who worked with Reyes before at Purefoods.

Reyes became the eighth coach of the Smart-PLDT franchise under Manny V. Pangilinan. He said it might bring some luck that he became the eighth coach in 2008.

“I like that. But another first thing for me to do is change my phone number (which belongs to a rival network). But I’ve always been a Smart user,” he said.

Others who have coached the franchise since 1996 were Norman Black, Eric Altamirano, Louie Alas, Bill Bayno, Paul Woolpert, Joel Banal and Pumaren.

Reyes’ entry came two months after Talk N Text traded Asi Taulava, considered as its franchise player.

Reyes, former coach of Coney Island, Purefoods, Sta. Lucia, Pop Cola, Coca-Cola and San Miguel, said he can’t wait to start calling the shots for the Phone Pals.

“I’m excited, of course. I’m looking forward to working and winning with a first-class organization like TNT,” said Reyes, who also coached the RP team that tried but failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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