Nash Racela had a straight face after the TNT Katropa’s 103-106 Game Three loss to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Friday night, but he was the perfect embodiment of sarcasm when he responded to questions surrounding the tension-filled bout.
“Obviously, it was a perfectly-officiated ball game,” said the 45-year-old sardonically. “You can’t really question the obvious. The refs did their part, did their best, in calling the game. I think all the calls were really nice.
“They made the right decisions, I think. I don’t really question that and I’m happy our players in their best and gave ourselves a chance.”
But when he was asked about the spat between him and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua that extended to the dugout at the half, the first-year pro coach did not delve into detail regarding what had really transpired.
“Gusto niyo malaman yung totoo? Baka ma-fine na naman ako pag nagsalita pa ako,” said Racela with a slight grin. “You all know me, I won’t start something. You all know me too well. And you all know the other guys too well.
“That’s all I can say.”
Racela and Chua’s verbal exchange started with 1:09 left in the second frame. And it resumed come the halftime break at the SMART Araneta Coliseum’s dugout. The two had to be separated to prevent things from going bad to worse.
— Justine Bacnis (@justinebacnis) October 6, 2017
The real reason has yet to be revealed. But judging from the game’s numbers, the Katropa have one big reason to complain about the loss: the disparity of free throws. TNT shot just 12-of-14, while Ginebra had gotten 30-of-43 freebies.
For Racela, he believes that the huge difference in foul shots was the result of TNT’s aggressiveness.
“We were also aggressive today. Glen Rice was aggressive in attacking the basket. I don’t know what Coach Tim [Cone] was talking about. Watch the game,” said the youthful mentor. “We all know why we got a lot of free throws last game, because they really fouled us.
“I don’t know, today, we really fouled them that, that’s why they got a lot of free throws. I think the next game, we will foul them a lot again and they’ll get a lot of free throws again,” added Racela.
“We just have to find ways.”
And at 11:03 in the evening, the first-year TNT head coach sent out this tweet.
— Nash Racela (@scwtN) October 6, 2017
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