Racela sees TNT mirroring San Miguelís rise to the top
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 03, 2017 11:14 AM
THE BLUEPRINT. Head coach Nash Racela says TNT is just going through the same growing pains San Miguel had to experience before winning five championships in the last eight conferences.
After falling to San Miguel in Game 6 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, TNT head coach Nash Racela easily spelled out the difference between the two teams.
“I think, more than the x’s and o’s, it was really the character of San Miguel that won them the championship,” he told reporters after his young KaTropa were disposed of by a Beermen side which has been contending for – and winning – championships in the last three years.
Still, the first-year mentor also pointed out that his wards were more than capable of getting the same sort of character. “We are in the process of getting there,” he expressed.
Racela then went on to say how San Miguel had to struggle before climbing the mountaintop and remaining there. “Pinag-usapan nga namin kanina, if you look at San Miguel and where they are now, they never got to this stage overnight. Maraming drama yan before; if you remember yung Petronovela, ganyan,” he shared.
He then continued, “It took them years and lots of conference before they won their championships.”
The TNT head coach was referring to how the Beermen, then known as Petron, trudged through three title-less years before winning the 2015 Philippine Cup.
Since then, San Miguel has claimed five of the last eight conferences.
Exactly the same could very well happen for the KaTropa who only have three trophies to show in the past six years. “We are going through the same process and we just have to remind ourselves to be patient. Before the start of the series, a lot of people talked about us being the inexperienced team, having eight to nine players without Finals experience,” Racela said.
He then continued, “It won’t be the case next time because that’s something we gained today – the learnings and the experience.”
Longtime floor leader Jayson Castro could only agree. “Magandang lesson sa amin ito especially sa mga young guys namin na first time makapasok ng Finals. At least yung experience, na-experience na nila,” he said.
And that goes not just for the championship round as many TNT youngsters, including rookie RR Pogoy and sophomore Troy Rosario, had many moments throughout the conference. “This conference, happy ako sa performance especially nung young guys namin like Pogoy and Troy. Sinasabihan ko lang sila laging maging confident lang,” Castro said.
Now wiser after a six-game Finals, Castro has no doubt that the KaTropa would be able to get to where the Beermen are. “Darating at darating din kami doon,” he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.