Nash Racela does his homework as TNT hatches plot to end San Miguel supremacy
Nash Racela reviews videos by his lonesome in an Eastwood coffee shop. Karlo Sacamos

YOU expect head coaches to be with their staff at their practice facility when reviewing game video ahead of a crucial PBA game or series.

Yet here was Nash Racela, enjoying the solitude in the second floor of a coffee shop in Eastwood near the Sambokojin restaurant where the Commissioner’s Cup Finals press conference was held an hour before on Monday noon.

Don’t get him wrong; the young TNT KaTropa coach still needs the input of his assistants composed of Josh Reyes, Bong Ravena, Gilbert Lao, and Alton Lister. It’s just his way of doing extra work.

“Hindi naman ‘work better alone,’ but I see a lot of other things when I work alone,” Racela said in a short chat with SPIN.ph after his routine. “Normally, you work with a group, with your coaches, you see things, you talk about things.”

“Kaya lang – sa experience ko lang – when I’m alone, I see more, I see something else,” he was quick to add. “That’s why usually ako, aside from the time I spend with the coaches, I spend extra time looking at film by myself.”

“It has been a habit of mine na up ‘til the last morning of gameday, I still watch video,” the 45-year-old tactician continued. “Kahit na kumbaga naka-set na yung game plan, may nakikita ka eh, and normally sa mga rotation. You’d rather do that than not watching.”

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The father of two daughters – Lauren, 16, and 11-year-old Tamika, though, is careful to do his routine when he’s at home.

“Pag active sila sa bahay, minsan mahirap mag-work, pero alam naman nila yun,” Racela said. “Sanay na sila. Alam nila if it’s my work time. But minsan katabi ko sila while I watch video.”

“(Minsan,) humihiwalay ako, minsan sa dining area,” he added. “Pero madalas, lumalabas ako ng bahay.”

The extra work has certainly paid off as the former Far Eastern University coach has led the Texters to a finals appearance in only his second conference at the helm of the flagship franchise of the MVP group.

But Racela is well aware that work has just begun as he’s leaving no stone unturned in looking for cracks in SMB’s armor.

For this particular personal viewing session, Racela was watching the Texters’ semifinal series-clinching win against Ginebra in Game Four last Saturday.  

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“Nanood na ako kagabi and I’ll watch again later tonight,” Racela said.

So has seen anything new that could work in the Texters favor?

“Hindi ko pa alam,” Racela said with a sly grin, usually his way of being modest or playing down their chances.

But one thing’s for sure: while he can something useful by himself, Racela knows it takes more than a singular effort to beat the Beermen.

“They’re too strong that it really takes a collective, team effort to beat them,” the TNT coach said. “That has been how we approach every game against San Miguel, even the series last conference. When we do things that way, mas malaki yung tsansa.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos