NASH Racela trades his morning hobby for extra homework for now as he expects the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals to go the distance.
TNT KaTropa and San Miguel Beer have split their first two games in the best-of-seven series and the Texters coach expects both teams to continue engaging each other in a see-saw battle until it reaches the limit.
“In the PBA you don’t expect a sweep. I expect a Game Seven,” Racela said ahead of Game Three on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. “We’ll see each other two more weeks I think.”
“No golf for two weeks,” he added with a smile. “I’m looking at a Game Seven.”
Racela is hoping his wards learn to keep their emotions in check after their 102-88 loss in Game Two when they failed to sustain the gains of a 17-0 run to start the game – the best unanswered run to start a game in playoff history, according to the league's chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
“Once you get to the playoffs, you’ll understand (that you have to stay composed),” Racela said. “When you play in the PBA it’s really like that.”
SMB coach Leo Austria expects some adjustments from Racela the Texters in Game Three that tips off at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s a game of adjustments,” Austria said. “We will see kung saan kami mag-aadjust ulit dahil hindi pwedeng makampante kami sa game namin ngayon. This is a parang chess match, keep on guarding them, talagang bantayan namin sila kung ano’ng gagawin.”
TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio confirmed that Joshua Smith is still healthy enough to play and eager to bounce back after the SMB defense held the hulking import to just 11 points on eight attempts and six rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
Austria insisted they have yet to solve the Smith puzzle.
“Hindi pa naman, dahil marami pa silang ilalabas,” Austria said. “Sabi ko nga this is like a chess match. Nanalo sila first move, nanalo kami second move. Third move, I don’t know what will happen.”