UAAP: ‘Mixed emotion’ for Olsen as FEU deals brother Nash, Adamson a heartbreaker
MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University coach Olsen Racela had mixed emotions after RJ Abarrientos nailed the game-winning triple to get the best of his brother Nash and Adamson in their first sibling battle in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.
While the Tamaraws’ were celebrating Abarrientos’ clutch trey with 8.9 seconds to go as they escaped the Falcons with a thrilling 66-65 victory on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena, Olsen walked straight and shook the hands of the opposing team, coached by his younger brother.
The FEU coach was happy to get their first winning streak of the season with an improved 3-3 record but it was tough for him seeing Adamson absorb another loss in a close game, falling to 1-5.
“Mixed emotions for me. I’m happy with the win but when the final buzzer and we’re up walking to the other side I saw my brother, I had mixed emotions,” the elder Racela said. “But one team has to win and one team has to lose. That’s how it works.”
Although it was another heartbreaking loss, Nash was glad that Adamson and FEU played “one of the best games so far this season.”
The former FEU coach, who is now calling the shots for the revamped Falcons, continues to trust the process of their rebuild after Jerom Lastimosa nailed a triple with 20 seconds left for a 65-63 lead only to miss another potential game-winner in their final possession, failing to answer Abarrientos’ trey.
“It could have gone either way,” Nash said. “To be honest, we (me and Olsen) don’t know each other’s coaching strategy. We have a little bit of an idea of what each other will do but today I think both of us were surprised with how the other coached.”
The younger Racela added their sibling battle just brought the best out of each other.
“From the beginning, I always said when you’re familiar with each other. It will just bring out the best in both of you. I think today we just did that,” he said.
Olsen was relieved that his wards stuck to his game plan even knowing that Nash is familiar with FEU’s system, which the latter coached from 2012 to 2016 before working as consultant in 2018 to 2019.
“If you stick to what’s working for you, even the opposing side knows what you’re doing, just keep on doing it as long as it’s working. Same with coach Nash,” Olsen said. “When they’re up by eight, I want to commend players for not giving up. We could’ve given up easily but they showed us the real spirit that FEU is looking for.”