TNT’s Racela: ‘SMB’s character won them the championship’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 02, 2017 11:21 PM
TNT’s Racela: ‘SMB’s character won them the championship’
THE DIFFERENCE. In head coach Nash Racela's view, San Miguel just showed much more character than TNT.

TNT fell to a battle-hardened and already championship-winning San Miguel side in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Still, first-year head coach Nash Racela said the KaTropa’s runner-up finish is actually a good thing. “Just getting to the Finals is a positive thing. Just based on this conference, we were better than 10 other teams,” he said.

He was quick to add, however, “It just so happened that one team was still better than us.”

Racela said that whatever the decision was, what matters is that they gave it their all. “Of course, this is not the way we wanted it to end, but ganun talaga e. That’s life. Sometimes, you plan for things, pero God knows better,” he said.

He the continued, “Ang importante sa amin, as long as we know in our hearts we gave it our best shot, dapat okay kami.”

Rather than gloss over what went wrong for his wards, the one-time UAAP champion coach pointed out the “almost perfect game” the Beermen played. “When we needed it the most, that’s when, suddenly, they played really, really well. It’s hard to beat a team like San Miguel na alam mo namang malakas,” he shared.

He then continued, “It’s actually us who needed to play perfectly, but again, that’s the character of their team. That’s why they’re the champions.”

In the end, the Beermen converted 51 percent of their field goal attempts all while enjoying a lopsided 24-12 advantage in terms of assists.

Jayson Castro echoed the same sentiment as his coach. “Siguro, halos lahat ng adjustment, ginawa na namin, pero they played well talaga. Kahit yung mga tough shot nila, pumapasok so credit to them,” he expressed.

Indeed, in Racela’s view, that championship character proved to be the biggest difference between the flagship teams of the SMC and MVP groups. As he put it, “I think, more than the x’s and o’s, it was really the character of San Miguel that won them the championship. Basketball is a game of runs, but when you look at them, even with us making our runs, ‘di sila nara-rattle.”

That exact same championship character is what TNT has to wield to get over this San Miguel-sized hump. “That’s something we need to learn lalo na we have young players. Katulad nga kanina, when San Miguel was making tough shots, kami, parang bumibigay,” the mentor said.

He then continued, “But once you get that (championship character), alam mong lalaro ka lang ulit, tuloy ka lang.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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