Where does Southeast Asian Games gold with Gilas Pilipinas rank among Chot Reyes' achievements?

Philippines exact revenge on Cambodia to reclaim gold (1:22)

Philippines reclaim the SEA Games men's 5x5 basketball gold medal after defeating holders Cambodia in Tuesday's final. (1:22)

Chot Reyes has achieved much in a coaching career that began in 1993: nine PBA championships, six PBA Coach of the Year awards, a FIBA Asia Championship (now FIBA Asia Cup) silver medal that led to Philippines' first appearance in the World Cup in 36 years, and a William Jones Cup triumph.

But before May 17, 2022, Reyes had never been a Southeast Asian Games gold medal-winning coach.

He had infamously fallen short in his SEA Games debut last year in Hanoi, but it wasn't until the 32nd edition in Phnom Penh that he would finally add this to his list of achievements.

Exactly where, though, does it rank?

"It's pretty significant," Reyes told ESPN.

"But obviously not to the level of the (South) Korea game (in the semifinals of the 2013 Asia Championship), the win (against Senegal at the 2014 World Cup), (and the) FIBA World Cup experience.

"Of course, those are bigger competitions. Having said that, it's still a very significant achievement.

"I guess, maybe (it ranks) in the top five just because how difficult the conditions were and all the adversity we had to go through to get there. I'm sure people will say we should never celebrate a Southeast Asian Games gold, except that this was a very different Southeast Asian Games.

"Nakita mo naman ang kalaban natin. It's wasn't really pure Southeast Asians that we played against. That makes it completely different."

Reyes pointed out that Gilas Pilipinas had to battle through adversity both on and off the court on their way to the gold.

"I think the best way to describe it really was it was a test of character," Reyes mused.

"You know me naman. You don't often hear talk about the 'C'-word -- character -- and all that, because I take that very seriously. But this was truly a test of character just for the players to go out and risk their careers to play in such an unsafe floor, substandard conditions, that in itself was very, very admirable.

"And then for us to go through everything we went through, to lose to Cambodia and then withstand all of the social media bashing and all the negativity and all of those comments... that's what we were preaching since day one.

"We told the players, 'When the going gets tough, the more that you have to lean in on each other.'

"We were referring to situations during a basketball game. When times get tough, lean into each other. But here in this experience, it was more than just one basketball game.

"The situation in more ways than one became a lot, lot tougher. And sure enough, the players really leaned into each other more than anything.

"It was a huge testament to their willingness and their will to win and their desire to serve the country. That's why if you combine all of those, for me it's a test of character."

Now that they've put the SEA Games behind them, Reyes said the team will go on a break before regrouping on June 1 to continue preparations for the FIBA World Cup.

This will include a two-week European training camp plus tune-up games against Estonia and fellow World Cup participant Finland.

"Even while we were in Cambodia, we were working hard on our training program," Reyes explained.

"We're putting a European trip together. We'll make the announcements when details are finalized. But for now we have set June 1 as the resumption of training. So everyone is off for now to resume on June 1 because we have to give the guys in Cambodia ample time to recover."

As for Jordan Clarkson, Reyes said there is still no set date for his arrival in the event that he is chosen as the team's naturalized player, revealing: "That's part of the details that are being ironed out at the moment.

"Right now we have no date, there's no definite date on the table except to say that communications have been ongoing and like everything else, when it's finalized then we'll make the announcement."