PETRON'S game may have been in a state of confusion on Wednesday night, but Olsen Racela and Rajko Toroman insisted there was no discord whatsoever as far as the Boosters' bench was concerned.
â€śHindi naman nagkakalituhan (on coaching)," said the longtime San Miguel star, who took over the head-coaching job this season with Toroman a prominent presence on the bench as consultant. "Before the game, malinaw naman yung roles namin pareho, execution na lang sa game.â€ť
Toroman, the Serbian coach who used to coach the Iran and Philippine national teams, said his role with Petron is clear: guide Racela in everything from offense to defense.
â€śWeâ€™re working together. Weâ€™re not having any problems (on coaching). We work together in everything," he said.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Petron's all-star lineup, which never got into any form or rhythm against a much-smaller Rain or Shine team as they went down,Â 102-86.
Rain or Shine's swarming defense held Petron to a 29-of-85 field goal shooting for a measly 34.1 percent clip. The hustling Elasto Painters also gained a 16-7 edge in fastbreak points and made nine less turnovers than the Boosters, 15-6.
However, Racela insisted there was nothing wrong with Petron's system, adding that putting their act together will require a lot more time.
â€śOff to a bad start lang kami, but weâ€™re not gonna lose hope. Sinabi ko sa kanila (Petron players), di porke natalo tayo, mag-i-ibang sistema na tayo. Malas lang at Rain or Shine agad ang nakalaban,â€ť said Racela.
Toroman said that hadÂ the Boosters stayed within the system, they probably had a good fighting chance against the scrappy Elasto Painters.
"We want to move the ball. Unfortunately, it didnâ€™t go well. We didnâ€™t get much points off turnovers and fastbreaks, plus we had more turnovers,â€ť said Toroman.
â€śWe just didnâ€™t play good defensively. Plus we were shooting too much. We werenâ€™t able to protect the basket. At the same time, we need to find ways to use our big guys,â€ť he added.
Petron has six days to shake off the loss and make the necessary adjustments before facing Barako Bull, which registered a 90-87 win over Air21 in the first game on Wednesday.