It did not take long for coach Tim Lewis to come back to the Philippines. After serving as Thailand’s head coach during the 2017 SEABA Championship last May, the British mentor is back on Philippine soil but this time with a different role.
“He’s here on a short term contract with TNT,” disclosed Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
For the first two days of Gilas practices in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup, Lewis has also been helping out in the sessions, especially on the defensive end. And his voluntary work is due to the bond he has formed with Chot Reyes’ son Josh Reyes.
“I mean, I’ve come over as a guest to Josh and be around him, talk about basketball,” said Lewis, who served as assistant coach to NBA D-League teams Raptors905 and Bakersfield Jam. “His dad offered me the opportunity to be on the floor. So it’s a very loose situation, so there’s no contract.
“It’s just that I’m glad to help out. It’s just an opportunity to coach basketball somewhere else in the world. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity.”
The 49-year-old head coach is no stranger to Gilas, however, as Thailand absorbed a 53-108 beat down at the hands of Gilas during the SEABA Championship. For him, the arsenal of Gilas has the potential to shock the powerhouses of Asia come the continental meet in Lebanon.
“You got so many tools here, weapons, so much depth at each spot.
“The way that you play is at an uptempo style of basketball cause you’ve adopted because of the size or the lack of size at times. And now you have the additions to size as well,” Lewis shared. “I think it’s exciting times for Philippines basketball. And you’re never scared to bring in these younger guys, too.
“Put them on the face of adversity and challenge them and see whether they could take it,” furthered Lewis, who was the former tactician of Great Britain’s U-20 team.
“It’s impressive. It’s a well-oiled machine. It’s a really good job done by you guys.”