DEAR READER, I can promise to be candid. However, I cannot be impartial. The FIBA 2023 World Cup campaign of Gilas Pilipinas has been nothing but a disaster, and the one who is getting sacked is Coach Chot Reyes for making Gilas an embarrassment in the international stage. But Reyes’ sacking should not only set an example to coaches and players but also to those who undertake even bigger responsibility.
Let me start first with being reminded of the fact that Reyes did do a lot of good for the country winning during his last tenure in the Jones Cup in 2012 and the historic FIBA World Cup run in 2014 that ended a 40-year winning drought for the country.
Think about it, dear reader. Reyes, in his year and a half tenure as national coach, has all resources in his reach. This include a plethora of young players who are ready and willing to dedicate time out of their teams in case the pros are not available due to them having a previous commitment with their respective ball clubs.
Even the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) has dedicated time off in the middle of their season just to let their players play in the FIBA window at the time. A year and a half can be considered as enough time to iron out deficiencies and get the foundations of a system going.
But even with past deficiencies, Reyes did say it himself that he and the team will be judged for their performance in the 2023 World Cup at home. If you’ve been living under a rock, this has been nothing short of embarrassment to the proud name the Philippines holds in Asian basketball.
Now where am I getting at? If there is any take away from that disaster it was how Reyes took full accountability for it. Now, resignation due to poor performance may seem like the normal course of action for many. But today, we take it for granted. Do you wanna know how we do that? It is because we tolerate incompetence.
From simple tranches of aid to the National IDs and driver’s licences, we simply let these things get away from us because we have tolerated incompetence for so long. We tolerate incompetence from our barangay officers, some of which are seeking re-election come October. We tolerate incompetence from our government services whether it’s insurance claims or benefits that will run you through a maze of bureaucracy or the painfully slow processing of important documents. And most of all, we tolerate incompetence from our representatives, those of which we trust to have our best interest in mind.
We put coaches at the helm of leading the national team because of their competence, that is the case with Reyes being one of the most decorated coaches in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). The same is true with his predecessor, Tab Baldwin, being a decorated coach in the collegiate scene. It also runs in consonance with Reyes’ successor, Tim Cone, who is the winningest coach in PBA’s history. But even in their success, we evaluate them for their performance now and not their achievements then. Even with a successful repertoire, their heads will roll after a series of dismal performances. It should be the standard for our public officials.
Yet somehow, dear reader, in electing public officials we have never put into account their competence as evidenced by our heads of state whose credentials are questionable at best to put it lightly.
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