IT will take a while for Mac Belo to get used to playing against former coach Nash Racela.
The Blackwater rookie said he had to check himself from seeking instructions from the now TNT Katropa coach during their PBA Philippine Cup game on Friday night which the Texters won, 99-92.
"Nakakapanibago ang game na ito kasi nandoon siya (Racela) sa kabilang side," he said smiling shyly. "Oo, nag-aantay ako ng instructions sa kanya (nakalimutan ko) nandoon na pala siya sa kabilang side, iba na pala ang side ko."
The closeness between player and coach is understandable, considering Racela was Belo's coach for most of his amateur career - from Far Eastern University in the UAAP to the D-League down to the Gilas cadets in the Southeast Asian Games.
"Nanibago talaga ako kasi si coach Nash matagal ko siyang nakasama, sa lahat ng games na nilaruan ko kasama ko siya eh," he said. "Sa FEU, sa D-League, sa SEA Games siya ang kasama ko so alam kong alam niya ang lahat ng tendencies ko so napapaisip talaga ako before the game."
Aside from Racela, Belo said it was a weird feeling going up against former FEU teammate and now TNT rookie Roger Pogoy.
"Kanina nga nagkukulitan pa kami, lagi kami nagkukumustahan at saka apir apir kasi 'yun nga nasanay kami na lagi kaming magkasama at saka sa dorm," he shared.
Belo finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes of play and just like the good old times, Racela was there to give him a pat on the back for a job well done.
"Sabi niya (Racela) sa akin good game daw," he said.