Racela tells TNT to ‘start playing like college players again’
Coach Nash Racela said for the team to rekindle its old fire, it has to go back to its roots.
“I told (the players) that you need to start playing like college players again,” he said.
The first head coach was visibly upset following the KaTropa’s 98-87 loss to Meralco on Friday, citing the players’ lack of focus as the cause of defeat.
“Anybody could beat you if you don’t do your part. You watch what Gregg Popovich said about the Spurs after their loss. I think it’s the same with us. I think we just didn’t do our part,” he said.
Racela was alluding to Popovich’s speech after San Antonio’s 95-91 loss to Chicago earlier in the day, where the legendary mentor called out his players for not coming ready to the game.
Popovich said: “I don’t remember playing tonight. No Knute Rockne speeches. It’s your job. If you’re a plumber and you don’t do your job, you don’t get any work. I don’t think a plumber needs a pep talk. A doctor botches operations, and he’s not a doctor anymore. If you’re a basketball player, you come ready. It’s called maturity. It’s your job.”
The mentality is also what Racela wants to change with TNT, the same way he did in his six-year stint in
Far Eastern University.
“The process that I’m going through now is the same process I went through with my college player. The changes that I want is the same,” said Racela, an assistant for eight years under three head coaches in TNT. “The changes are not so much on the basketball side, the Xs and Os, that we want to apply. It’s more on the mentality, the attitude that we need to change.”
“I’m trying to be patient. It’s important for me to start to identify the mistakes and calling out some players on the things they need to change and they need to improve on. So it starts with awareness and the next step is making things happen.”