Parker, FEU guards learning a lot from legendary Olsen Racela

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 27, 2017 08:23 PM
FEU guards learning a lot from legendary Olsen Racela
FROM YESTERDAY TO TODAY. Jasper Parker and FEU's guards have a golden opportunity to learn from one of the best point guards in the history of Philippine basketball.

Slowly but surely, Far Eastern University is resembling a serious contender in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

While team captain Ron Dennison was the lone bright spot in their slow start to the season, the Tamaraws have now welcomed with open arms contributions from their other guards.

From Axel Inigo to RJ Ramirez and from Wendell Comboy to Jasper Parker, Morayta’s small but terrible talents have been spearheading their charge. “Well, yun ang luxury ko e. I have JR, si Axel, even si Hubert (Cani) and Jojo (Trinidad) can even play the point so mamimili na lang ako kung sino ang magandang nilalaro,” head coach Olsen Racela said.

He then continued, “JR played well today so he deserved to finish the game.”

Indeed, while he only had nine points, five rebounds, and three assists to his name, Parker was the steady hand that guided FEU right past National University on Wednesday.

For the five-foot 10-inch guard, he just needed some time to adjust to playing on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights. “I’m taking it one game at a time. I’m slowly adjusting because it’s a lot different playing in CESAFI compared to playing here,” he shared.

He then continued, “Everybody can play and it’s not just some guys, everybody can play.”

Parker was born to a Filipina mother and grew up in California before moving to Cebu in 2014. There, he starred for Southwestern University.

Now in his fifth game in the UAAP, play, the 23-year-old did up against the likes of Bulldogs J-Jay Alejandro and Jordan Bartlett. “I think playing with all of these guys, it’s a test for me to see where I am as a player, what I need to improve on,” he said.

It’s also not hurting his adjustment that Parker just so happens to have one of the country’s greatest point guards of all-time as a mentor. Talking about Olsen Racela, he said, “It’s great learning from him. He has lots to teach us.”

He then continued, “You can tell he’s very experience with this game. He definitely made a big impact in the PBA and I’m definitely taking advantage of anything he teaches me.”

A spitfire who uses his speed to may plays, he said learning discipline has been Racela’s biggest impact in him. “The biggest lesson for me right now is playing disciplined. As a point guard, you have to execute really well,” he said.

He then continued, “One thing I also know he doesn’t like with me right now is my one-handed passes. I gotta work on that.”

From here, Parker said he is only hoping to keep getting better. “It’s my rookie year. So far, I’m doing kinda well, but I still have lots to improve on,” he expressed.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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