UAAP 82: 9-hour flight from Dubai to Manila all worth it for FEU coach Olsen Racela

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 06, 2019 08:33 PM
9-hour flight from Dubai all worth it for FEU coach Olsen
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

This time last night, Olsen Racela was on the sidelines for Ginebra as they waged war against NLEX in the 2019 Governors' Cup.

The game, however, was Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.

It just so happened that Racela had to be back in Manila by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday as he had to coach Far Eastern University in its matchup opposite the University of the Philippines in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Safe to say, Coach Olsen's travel from Dubai to Manila was far from stress-free.

It all started with the Gin Kings' game tipping off later than expected - and then, that game going into overtime.

And so, Ginebra's game was only done at 12:45 a.m. Philippine time.

Right after, Racela rushed to the airport and, fortunately, made his flight and also fortunately, had his flight taking off on time at 3:45 a.m. Philippine time.

Nine hours later, the Tamaraws' mentor was in NAIA and there, his mother was already waiting to take him to MOA Arena.

And at 4:30 p.m. he saw his boys take charge right from tip-off.

Of course, he also saw his boys lose a 16-point deficit before leaving it all on the floor and pulling out a gutsy triumph over the fancied Fighting Maroons.

And in the end, Coach Olsen was nothing but glad to have made that trip, no matter how stressful it was. "Mahirap talaga, but looking at these young men and how much they wanted to win, yung pagod at saka yung antok at saka yung pinagdaanan ko, it's all worth it with this win," he shared.

He then continued, "Actually, sa nilaro namin, yung resulta, bonus na lang. (Bottom line), yung nilaro namin, sulit yung pinagdaanan ko."

And so, after a nine-hour flight, Racela and FEU have their biggest win thus far in the tournament. "Beating the no. 2 team shows we can compete, but you for that to happen, everyone has to contribute. We're hoping that we could sustain that."


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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