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.
“Hindi 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.”
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.
“We’re working together. We’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, 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.
“Off to a bad start lang kami, but we’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,” said Racela.
Toroman said that had 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 didn’t go well. We didn’t get much points off turnovers and fastbreaks, plus we had more turnovers,” said Toroman.
“We just didn’t play good defensively. Plus we were shooting too much. We weren’t able to protect the basket. At the same time, we need to find ways to use our big guys,” 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.