ROOKIE coach Olsen Racela went .400 in his first conference as head bench tactician, which ended with his Petron Blaze Boosters making an early exit after one game in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
The 87-92 overtime loss to San Mig Coffee on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum gave him a 6-9 record, but it sure could have been better.
It was a rather quiet ending to a conference that started controversially as he had to share the play board with then team consultant Rajko Toroman during the first five games. With the Serbian by his side, the team went 2-3 for a winning percentage of .400.
Team management decided to strip Toroman of his duties, thus giving Racela a free hand in running the show for Petron and the Blaze went 4-6, also for .400, from thereon.
“It’s a learning experience for everybody especially for me. Iyung mga ganitong bagay tinatandaan mo so you can come out better. So learning experience talaga ito para sa akin,” Racela told Spin.ph, whose team also lost shooter Marcio Lassiter after a hard fall midway in the fourth quarter.
The Boosters ended their campaign with back-to-back losses, having squandered a 21-point fourth quarter advantage and eventually losing, 71-79, to the Alaska Aces in their final elims game.
Against the Mixers, the Boosters held an 11-point lead midway in the third period, before eventually folding up in the end to lose by five points in overtime.
Racela said he has no idea yet what management plans to do with the team after its disappointing finish. But he did say that management plans to meet him and the rest of the coaching staff to assess the Boosters’ first conference performance.
“Break muna. Regarding sa team, di pa namin pinag-uusapan. Of course management wants to meet us, but now no concrete plans pa,” he added.