Talking to Batang Gilas program head Josh Reyes

SBP: We’re welcoming new Batang Gilas program head Josh Reyes. How is everything
coach?
Coach Josh: It’s all good and exciting. Happy to be helping out coach Mike Oliver, who
is the head coach of our Batang Gilas team and they have done a great job.

SBP: Nice. Having said that, what have you overserved and like in the team that was
able to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup in Argentina?
Coach Josh: I like their intelligence. When we played Japan, we gave them a complex
game plan. Something you’d give the cadets or professional players. And to my
surprise, most of them got it and ran it to a T. Most who jump to the PBA from college
do not easily grasp that. That is a testament to the coaching they have been getting in
high school. That is very positive.
This batch has size so finally we aren’t the smallest team. We have the bigs and the
guards. Now, it’s a matter of time before we get the wings.
It is also a matter of adjusting coaching wise. We don’t have to think too much or go
outside the box.

SBP: Coach Josh, where are we in terms of practices for the Batang Gilas team that will
go to the Under-17 World Cup?
Coach Josh: We’ve been practicing about 3 times a week. We aren’t at a stage where
we can practice every day because some just finished their school while others are also
practicing with their respective high school squads that are competing in different
tournaments. Coming into the Worlds, hopefully, we can practice as a complete unit
more often.

SBP: Is there a line-up already? What else are you working on with the boys?
Coach Josh: We are in the process of introducing and installing the new system. My
goal is to have within the next week or so, a final pool for both Under-17 World Cup and
Under 18 Fiba Asia. That will allow the boys to also concentrate.
The system we are running is being run by the Gilas Elite and the Gilas Cadets. It
makes sense for the Batang Gilas team to run it as well so there is seamless transition.
We started late but other countries are already doing that. It is an easy transition for
countries like Australia because they have been running the system since they were
teens.

So for us, it isn’t just the plays, but the terminologies on defense and offense. So pag-
nag cadets or pro alam na nila.

SBP:
Coach Chot likes to say that one aspect of preparation is playing big games prior
to a tournament. Do you have any lined up for Batang Gilas?
Coach Josh: There are a lot of plans right now but nothing has been finalized. One
option is to go to Argentina early. But we have gotten the commitment of a couple of
European and Oceania teams before the World Cup. So the goal is to have four
practice games against top European talent. That will help us before stepping into the
tournament