Nash Racela will be front and center in his first PBA Finals as head coach

Paul Lintag on Jun 21, 2017 09:27 AM
Nash is front and center in first PBA Finals as head coach
GENIUS. Nash Racela the PBA head coach will be front and center as his TNT KaTropa takes on San Miguel Beer for the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

While he's been a KaTropa for god knows how long already, the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup will be Nash Racela's first Finals as a head coach.

In leading TNT to the championship round for the first time in two years, the rookie mentor will be front and center as he tries to figure out ways on how to beat Leo Austria's might San Miguel Beermen.

Basically, the basketball world will witness whether or not coach Nash can do something that hsa never been done before.

But before you downplay Racela's abilities, do know that one of the reasons why San Miguel is taking extra caution in facing TNT for the title is because coach Nash is an underrated genius.

Yes, Coach Nash is that good.

"Hindi ko siya tinatratong rookie dahil I've known him for a long time," Austria said of Racela.

"He's coaching a lot of teams, he's exposed to international competition, he's in the national team. He can really coach," coach Leo, who is 4-0 in the PBA Finals win the Beermen, added.

For Racela, being a first-year head coach in the PBA doesn't really bother him much.

In fact, the motivation is relatively the same. He's trying to be the best coach that he can be every game anyway, being in the Finals doesn't change much of his outlook.

"There's always motivation every day. Just to give your best regardless of the situation. Finals, eliminations, sa akin personally, it's all the same," he said.

"It's nice that we're in the Finals, but in the end, if you don't win it all, then balewala ang pagpasok mo. No. 1 it's about giving our best then no. 2, it's about winning," Racela added.

Being in the Finals as a rookie head coach is an impressive feat even for a genius like coach Nash. However, what makes his accomplishment more incredible is the fact that he basically fast-tracked TNT's return to relevance in the PBA.

Since winning the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup, which also happens to be TNT's last Finals appearance prior to this upcoming series, the KaTropa endured five conferences of disappointment, the last straw coming in the 2017 Philippine Cup when they lost to San Miguel in the semifinals after seven games.

That was coach Nash's first conference with the team, and he didn't even start it since he had to finish his duties with the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP.

"It was a hard transition. Nothing comes easy eh," Racela said.

"Siguro the only thing that has been working for us is familiarity. Again, I've been with this team the last nine years. So the familiarity really helped us, that's why siguro the guys, particularly the veterans are playing a lot better," he added.

Being in a rookie head coach in the Finals does not really bother Nash Racela that much. However, if he can take something away from this "new" experience, it's the fact that this is a big opportunity for him and his team to seize the moment.

"It's two ways eh. It could be a disadvantage, but I'm looking at it more as an opportunity," he said.

"I've always believed na when you are given a first-time opportunity, 'yung best mo comes out eh. I think it's the same thing with me, it will be my first time coaching in a championship game in the PBA as a head coach. This is a great opportunity for me and I want to give of course my best for the team," Racela added.



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