WHENEVER they’re together, brothers Nash and Olsen Racela always make sure their topic of conversation won’t delve on basketball.
More so now that they’re up against each other and the stakes are higher in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals between TnT Katropa, where Nash is head coach, and Barangay Ginebra, where older brother Olsen is one of Tim Cone's assistants.
Although they’ve crossed paths a lot of times before, it’s only now the Racelas have met in the playoffs in Nash’s first season as full-time head coach, and with no less than a finals berth on the line.
While the circumstance is just a regular thing for both of them, Olsen said as much as possible, they try to avoid talking about the game and the sport whenever they enjoy in each other’s company.
“Pag magkasama kami we don’t talk about basketball. May nangyari na before (kasi) na nagkainitan lang ang ulo namin lalo na pag magkalaban kami,” Olsen disclosed to SPIN.ph.
Told about it, Nash gave out a hearty laugh and then bared more details.
“From what I learned, kasi a lot of teams do that where they assigned assistant coaches to specific teams siguro tig-tatatlo or tig-aapat,” he said. “And from what I learned, TNT is one of the teams na hawak niya. I don’t’ know ha, but that’s from what I’ve learned.”
That’s understandable, the rookie TnT mentor stressed.
“Of all the coaches I know, he’s the most familiar sa akin. He knows how I think,” said Nash of ‘kuya’ Olsen.
But despite the sibling rivalry reaching new heights, the Racelas are treating the situation like an ordinary thing.
Even their mother also does the same routine she did when Olsen was still active as a player and Nash already an assistant coach in the league.
“Nasanay na kami. Ang tagal na namin sa PBA,” said Olsen, 46. “In fact, mom ko nga hindi nanonood. Pag kami ang magkalaban since I’m still playing and si Nash assistant coach na, hindi nanonood yan.”
“And now that Nash is a head coach and I’m an assistant, ganun pa din naman.”
Nash, 45, agrees with his older brother, and at the same time, welcomes the opportunity of going up against him on the bench.
“It’s nice to be coaching against him,” said the TnT mentor, who is looking to make the finals in just his second conference with the franchise as a full-time head coach.
Just like Olsen, Nash had become used to seeing his older brother on the other side of the fence.
“Awkward? Hindi naman,” he said. “When you're focused on the game, you don’t really see the personalities on the opposite side."
But the two agreed on one matter as far as basketball is concerned.
“Nung nagkamayan kami after the game, FEU yung napag-usapan namin,” said Nash with a chuckle, obviously referring to the former college team he steered to a UAAP championship two years ago and now being handled by his brother.
“Yun na lang, FEU puwede pa,” Olsen agrees. “Pero hindi na PBA.”