Coach Nashas Racela once found himself behind the wheel of the PBA when he was launched by TNT.
“As soon as you get that time, it becomes a time for reflection,” he told the Inquirer on Saturday, shortly after his wards crushed 98-88 NLEX in the Philippine Cup at the University of Angeles Foundation.
“Usually, when you take a step back, you see clearly, right,” Racela added.
He probably also likes what he sees now. The unreleased season-reloaded Blackwater, which received pre-season talks only when it allegedly violated government health protocols, suddenly finds itself at the top of the standings when the Road Warriors lost for the third time.
Blackwater have now won two of the three matches, much of which is due to the clarity that Racela has brought to the team. Even coach Tim Cone from Barangay Ginebra, the only team to defeat Elite so far, has shown respect for Racela in an effort to praise him after their game. Despite his huge contribution to the Blackwater franchise, Racela doesn’t want to get the attention of his players.
“I am blessed to have the kind of players we have. Again, you will compare it to other teams, in terms of talent and stellar power we are at the bottom, ”Racela said.
“But I consider it a blessing, given the amount of effort and attitude they always give,” he added.
Before NLEX, the goods were presented by veteran KG Canaleta and young big Don Trollano, who scored 18 points each. Former collegiate hotspots Roi Sumang and Ed Daquioag also appeared in the huge Blackwater, which lagged behind the tense first half to the coast from victory.
With 46 points, Daquioag, who finished 10 points, scored seven at the start of the third quarter, with Blackwater advancing 58-48. Sevang out of 13 points scored in that early section as well. Canaleta dropped a triple score, which increased the difference to 79-61.
The longtime traveler also emptied the triple play, which extended the score to 84-62 with 10:12 left.
“We played right,” Racela said.
“It was a combination where we played well offensively, shared basketball and the other team made mistakes,” he added.
NLEX was led by Mike Ayonayon, who scored 20 points, and Kiefer Ravenna, who scored all 17 points, eight boards and seven assists.
Blackwater are hoping to improve their record against Alaska, which later announced a victory against Magnolia 87-81 last night, on Tuesday, and Racela hopes the team will rise from low expectations, as did its coach when he got tired.
“When I was thrown out of myself, I lost interest in PBA … I really didn’t watch the games,” Racela said.
“All you have to do is look for the good,” he added.
And so far, Blackwater has a lot of good things to do.
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