FEU out to keep Racela ‘in any capacity’ amid news of TNT move

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If and when Nash Racela formally accepts the head coaching post at TNT Katropa in the pro ranks, the Far Eastern U management is bent on pulling out all the stops to keep him within the Tamaraws men’s basketball team.

FEU athletic director Mark Molina sounded confident that Racela will remain at the helm with the Tamaraws for the remainder of their title-retention bid in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament following reports of his impending promotion in the PBA that surfaced last Wednesday.

And the FEU management is willing to keep Racela “in whatever capacity which he can help us,” added Molina.

“Our only concern is to make sure Nash will finish the season (with FEU) and we have no doubt he will. I know Nash won’t leave the team at the middle of the season,” said Molina on Saturday following FEU’s 63-60 win over University of the Philippines at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, with Racela sitting beside him during the post-match interview.

Molina also reiterated the school management’s all-out support for Racela, who’s been serving as an assistant coach at Talk ’N Text for nearly a decade before accepting the FEU job since 2013 in lieu of Bert Flores.

“It was always clear when Nash joined FEU that when an opportunity like this comes up, we’ll gladly accept his decision and support him 100 percent,” he stressed. “Our main concern right now is Season 79. Kung ano man mangyayari sa career ni coach Nash afterwards, it’s a blessing.”

And if FEU management could only have its way, Racela should remain with the Tamaraws’ brain trust.

“If Nash gets the TNT position, we will do everything in our power to keep Nash in the FEU organization, in whatever capacity which he can help us,” said Molina.  “‘Yan ang sigurado. Of course, pending the blessings from TNT and Nash himself.”

With FEU still in strong title contention with an 8-2 mark, good for solo second spot behind powerhouse La Salle, Molina won’t let the Tamaraws, from the players up to the coaching staff, be distracted of Racela’s imminent transfer.

“I had a conversation with (school owner) Mr. Anton Montinola yesterday (Friday). I told him na let’s not talk about it now. It’s unfair to the current team and to the coaching staff if we’re planning for next year,” he said.

“We have several members of our coaching staff who are, to me, are very ready and qualified to be head coaches in the UAAP. But I don’t want to talk about it right now.” – Jerome Lagunzad

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