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Tiebreaker Times


Nash Racela glad to see ‘gate-crashing’ Adamson join ‘big spenders’ in Final Four

Just a year and three days into his appointment as Adamson University head coach, Nash Racela has demonstrated many consider him one of the top college basketball coaches in the country.

The former PBA mentor steered the Soaring Falcons to a respectable 6-8 record in his first campaign in charge back in Season 84, which was a win behind eventual fourth placers Far Eastern University.

This time around, the Season 78 champion coach went one better with the San Marcelino school. He led it to the Final Four by prevailing over De La Salle University, 80-76. This is the school’s first appearance in the postseason since Season 81.

UAAP-MBB-Joshua-Yerro-ADU Nash Racela glad to see 'gate-crashing' Adamson join 'big spenders' in Final Four AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“We’re happy to be in the Final Four,” said Racela. “We’re actually gatecrashing the Final Four. People didn’t expect us. They expected… I don’t know what you call them – big spenders. To me, they’re all big spenders.

“I’m happy that the team did their part to be in this situation. We’ll check our emotions because we don’t want to be on a high. May trabaho pa. We’re still gonna play Wednesday and the weekend.”

For Adamson to finally achieve some separation from La Salle, it needed to dig deep by overcoming a 13-point deficit. It also needed Lendra Douanga and Cedrick Manzano to convert big baskets in the endgame.

Free throws from Jerom Lastimosa and Joshua Yerro then sealed the deal for the Soaring Falcons.

Indeed, this is a win to remember. Adamson hung in there throughout the season to get this far in the tournament.

UAAP-MBB-Lastimosa-Yerro-ADU Nash Racela glad to see 'gate-crashing' Adamson join 'big spenders' in Final Four AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Credit to La Salle. They really played well from the start hanggang sa huli. That was my halftime talk to them eh. The way La Salle played in the first half really showed how important the game was to them,” said Racela.

“Ang question sa amin, importante din ba sa inyo?  Because sa laro natin, parang hindi. It’s nice that the players were able to adjust even in those situations where we were down. From a coaching standpoint, we made minor adjustments. It was really the players who executed in the end.”

Despite the achievement, Racela – as the ambitious coach that he is – wants to go further than just the semifinals. He wants to take Adamson all the way and give the school the same joy he gave to FEU back in 2015.

#ReadMore  Kent Pastrana scintillates in debut as La Salle romps UP

Standing in his and the Soaring Falcons’ way, though, is Tab Baldwin’s Ateneo de Manila University, which has a twice-to-beat advantage. The challenge may be daunting, but Racela and company are ready to give it a proper go.

“We know how tough they are as a team, but again, nothing is impossible in this world,” said Racela. “You look at our run a month ago, we were down. Pang-ilan ba kami nun? Sixth or seventh? All of a sudden, we made our run, which surprised a lot of people. That’s why we are now in the Final Four.

“We have that mentality na walang imposible. We know that in our runs, it’s really grace… Yun ang ano namin. Hindi imposible manalo as long as we do our part.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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