Moments after clinching his first win as a PBA head coach, TNT’s Nash Racela said he expects the Katropa to keep playing like “college players” as a new chapter of the franchise begins under his watch.
Racela was pleased to see how the Katropa showed their killer instincts for 48 minutes en route to a 117-98 demolition of the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday to get back on the winning track with a 3-2 win-loss record.
Racela said TNT’s lopsided win reminds him of how his former UAAP team, Far Eastern University treats every game—and that’s the exact culture he wants to see the Katropa develop in his move to PBA coaching.
“Coming from the collegiate ranks, sanay ka sa mga bata na every possession dinidiin eh,” said Racela, who guided FEU to the UAAP championship in 2015.
“That’s something that we’re trying to develop here with TNT,” he continued. “Nasanay na kami sa passive na laro and sabi namin it shouldn’t be different, the PBA shouldn’t be different dun sa college.”
With a week to prepare after their loss to sister team Meralco, the first-year PBA mentor got his wish for a more aggressive outing as TNT veterans Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro stood at the forefront of their 19-point demolition of the Fuel Masters.
From a 14-14 deadlock in the initial quarter, the Katropa slowly imposed their might, erected a 15-point lead at the hands, before turning the heat in the second half.
“Consistency, gusto niya consistent, kung ano mangyari, lamang o hindi,” said Ranidel de Ocampo, on Racela’s instruction in a separate interview.
“Mai-apply sa susunod na laro para maging habit, iniisip namin papano maging consistent kahit na alam na naming panalo na, tuloy pa rin effort,” he added. – Jason Mercene
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