PETRON veteran Danny Ildefonso threw his full backing behind beleaguered Olsen Racela amid reports that the Boosters' rookie head coach is on the way out.
“Let’s give a chance to Olsen. Bigyan natin sya ng pagkakataong ipakita ang kakayanan niya,” Ildefonso told Spin.ph on Wednesday. “Hindi masusukat ang galing ng coach sa isa o dalawang conference."
Information that reached Spin.ph on Monday bared Racela is set to be replaced by assistant Gee Abanilla, who will have former Indonesia Warriors head coach Todd Purves as an active consultant.
Racela, the sources added, will be moved to San Mig Coffee to be an assistant to Tim Cone.
San Miguel Corp. officials have yet to make an annoucement but Purves has already stepped down as Warriors coach on Tuesday to "pursue other opportunities elsewhere."
Ildefonso, however, insists that Racela still enjoys the players' confidence and expressed fears that another coaching change may be detrimental to the team.
“Most of my teammates, buo pa rin ang confidence kay Olsen. Sabi nga namin, mahirap din ang papalit-palit (ng coaching staff). Wala kaming makukuhang sistema,” said the outspoken ‘Kapitan.'
He insisted that bad breaks, most of all the ban meted on import Renaldo Balkman during the Commissioner's Cup, had been as much to blame for the Boosters' failure in the first two conferences of the season.
“Sa totoo lang, breaks lang ang nangyayari kaya hindi maganda ang campaign namin lately. Pero tingin ko nga kung hindi nagka-problema sa import namin dati baka runner-up ang lowest naming nakuha,” said Ildefonso.
The two-time league MVP said Racela is also doing his best to expand his coaching knowledge, even going on his own to the US a few weeks ago to attend coaching clinics.
“Nagsisikap talaga yung tao, sayang naman," he said.
The 35-year-old Ildefonso said he is now in the final phase of his recovery from surgery on a dislocated left shoulder surgery that has sidelined him for the last six months.
He joined Petron's light drills in practice for the first time on Wednesday and vows to help Racela win a championship once he's back in competitive form.
“Gusto kong mag-champion kami para kay Olsen. Gusto kong matulungan si Olsen na patunayan na kaya niya kaming hawakan,” vowed the Urdaneta, Pangasinan native.
“Ang laki ng naitulong ni Olsen sa career ko, kaya ngayon gusto ko naman siyang tulungan. Hindi ako magcha-champion at lalong hindi ko mararating ang pwesto ko ngayon kung wala siya.
“Hindi pa ako nakakatulong kay Olsen, kaya kung gugustuhin ng Diyos na siya pa rin ang coach namin, talagang tutulungan ko siya para mag-champion."