Racela looking for better finishing kick from TNT
With TNT emerging as one of the early contenders this 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, coach Nash Racela knows that his team could not afford to drop its third loss in four games when it clashes against Blackwater on Wednesday.
But he’s not batting an eyelash knowing how resolute his team is.
“We’ve realized that this team has been really good in making comebacks ever since. After a loss, we’re always confident that our team will play better the next time,” he said.
The KaTropa are coming off a 76-88 defeat to San Miguel in Iloilo, where the team engaged in a tight battle until the final five minutes.
Racela is aware that TNT lacked the endgame swagger which led to a 1-2 record early on this conference. But he believes that his players are mature enough to see their deficiencies and expects more from his side in the game against the Elite.
“I really felt we gave ourselves a good chance in that game. In the last five minutes of the game, the game was tied and then we fielded in supposedly our best five against their best five but the finishing kick was the problem. Hopefully, we end better in this next game,” he said.
TNT will be tested against a Blackwater side which is fresh from a confidence-boosting upset over Ginebra, 94-77, last Friday.
“We just reminded our players that Blackwater is really an elite team. It’s in their name: Blackwater Elite,” he said. “They beat Ginebra, they beat Rain or Shine, and they almost beat Meralco, so they could have been 3-0 at this point.”
Though traditionally, TNT has had the upper-hand in its past clashes against Blackwater, Racela reiterated to his wards that this season, no team is a pushover and it can’t underestimate anyone if it wants to come out victorious.
“I think Blackwater really deserves a lot of respect and that’s something that we are emphasizing our team: to really give them respect that they deserve,” he said. “We just hope that again, we treat them like San Miguel. Hopefully, we give our best effort.”
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.