Chot Reyes topped his return from a coaching sabbatical in the PBA on a significant note.
The flamboyant guru was named by the PBA Press Corps as its Coach of the Year for Season 46 and will be handed his sixth Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan trophy in its traditional Awards Night set Tuesday at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
Reyes, 58, framed out Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone for the coveted award following his successful comeback to coaching in Asia’s first-ever play-for-pay league after an almost decade of absence to steer the TNT Tropang Giga to the Philippine Cup championship. The veteran coach was once Tim Cone’s assistant during the early 90s with Alaska Milkmen. Then only 27, Reyes took over the coaching for the Milkmen during the 1991 All-Filipino Conference as Cone was barred from coaching due to a case filed by the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines questioning Cone’s hiring over other Filipinos. Reyes steered the Alaska franchise to third place finish after beating San Miguel in a best-of-three series.
The sixth Coach of the Year award by Reyes is the most in the history of the PBAPC, but the first for him since last winning it in 2011.
It likewise marked the third time he won it while being in charge for the telecommunication franchise, becoming only the second coach to win it three times with the same team after San Miguel Beer’s Leo Austria.
Reyes leads 14 other awardees to be feted by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat during the two-hour affair hosted by veteran sportscaster Sev Sarmenta, former courtside reporter, and now news anchor Rizza Diaz.
Re-elected Bulakan, Bulacan mayor and former MVP Vergel Meneses will be the guest of honor in the program that starts at 7 p.m.
Barangay Ginebra Governor Alfrancis Chua, will also part the limelight as recipient of the Danny Floro Executive of the Year, so is NorthPort forward Arwind Santos as Defensive Player of the Year, June Mar Fajardo for the Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, and Meralco’s Allein Maliksi for Mr. Quality Minutes.
Additional awardees includes, TNT’s Mikey Williams (Scoring Champion), the group of Terrafirma’s Joshua Munzon, NorthPort’s Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana of NLEX, Williams, and Rain or Shine’s Leonard Santillan (All-Rookie Team), the quartet of Williams, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang, Robert Bolick of NorthPort, and Matthew Wright of Phoenix, (Order of Merit) along with officials of San Miguel and NorthPort (Game of the Season).
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and the league Board, together with commissioner Willie Marcial have been invited in the first face-to-face awards night by the PBAPC since 2019.