Pogoy, Racela wary of dangerous Blackwater led by former Tams
From relative nobodies, Mac Belo and Raymar Jose came out of nowhere and built themselves to become two of the most hardworking forwards in the country today.
And it all started in FEU, with coach Nash Racela ingraining in them the right way to perform at the best of their capabilities.
That development saw the two go from Morayta to the national team to now in Blackwater where they are emerging as solid contributors for the hard luck squad this 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
But on Wednesday, Racela will have to face his own creations when his TNT battle the upstart Elite squad at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“After their stint in FEU, we’ve seen their development as players. And they’re already different players from the time we separated in 2015,” said the easy-going mentor. “From good players, they are now very good players.”
Both Belo and Jose were integral parts of the Racela-coached Tamaraws which went to back-to-back Finals in 2014 and 2015 and ultimately won FEU the UAAP Season 78 championship.
But it’s not just Racela, as Roger Pogoy will also have to deal with the trouble of taking on his former teammates and close friends.
“I’m excited to play against Toto for the first time here in the PBA. And I’m also happy for Mac because he’s been playing well after recovering from his injury,” said the 25-year-old sniper in Filipino.
Seeing how good his former peers have been playing for Blackwater, Pogoy admits that TNT is at a disadvantage in this tiff.
“They have the advantage because Blackwater, especially Mac and Toto, are playing great. They’re young and they’re fast, and their confidence is on a high,” he said.
But as close as Pogoy is to Belo and Jose off-court, the Cebuano gunslinger knows that it’s all business once that buzzer sounds.
“We’re a little nervous seeing how good Blackwater is right now. But we’re ready and we really prepared hard for them,” he said.