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    COLUMN: Did Blackwater players 'quit' on Nash Racela?

    Sep 21, 2021
    Nash Racela
    PHOTO: PBA Images
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    CHICAGO - Blackwater Bossing assistant coaches make as low as P25,000 a month, a source who works for the team told me over the phone.

    It's not exactly crazy rich money considering that deputies over at the Gilas Pilipinas program rake in nearly six figures. But it's still a nice gig that keeps one in the PBA while cracking doors to several other basketball-related opportunities.

    When Nash Racela took over the helm as head coach of Blackwater in 2020, he kept all seven assistant coaches under the previous administration of Aries Dimaunahan.

    Nobody was going to be left on the streets. Not under his watch.

    Other new hires would have quickly initiated a purge and brought in his own staff to chart a different plan of action.

    Sadly, kindness doesn't always beget kindness.

    In a cruel twist of fate, it's now Nash himself who is out of a job. He was just unceremoniously kicked out to the curb after the perennially losing franchise he had the misfortune of leading just sank in the abyss of history with a 19-game losing streak.

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    At practice following Bossing's 96-81 loss to San Miguel last July 23, Nash told his players that he had a standing offer from a college team, Adamson, I am told.

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    He did so, however, only to illustrate to the troops that while he may have a landing spot once the ship sinks to the bottom, most of his players with fringe contracts may not.

    Which was why he cajoled them to take pride in themselves and perform better than what their lousy 0-3 record, at that time early in this conference, reflected.

    A source relayed to me that several players complained over how Racela was "cursing at them and belittling them openly during games. So the players quit on him. All of his FEU players quit on him. It's just a sad situation."

    Racela vehemently denies the allegations.

    "IT NEVER HAPPENED," RACELA TEXTED ME.

    Even after he had been physically exhausted and mentally fatigued by his 2-20 record, he had intended to honor his contract with Blackwater.

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    Because honorable men like Nash do the task they have, not plan for the next. Juggling is only for circus acts.

    As he previously told SPIN.ph, he is "thankful to Blackwater for the opportunity" and only wished "they talked to me first before rushing to announce to the press."

    Yeah, whatever happened to simple courtesy?

    Did Blackwater's management also lose its manners after years of being pummeled game after game after game in the PBA?

    Divorce happens in basketball all the time. But being messy isn't a requirement, you know.

    If I were Nash Racela, I wouldn't consider this a firing. I'd look at it as a liberation from a terrible work environment that had grown increasingly toxic with the spectacular lack of success.

    Nash did not taint the Bossing. Blackwater tainted Racela's otherwise stellar coaching record.

    How so?

    The way it squandered prized draft picks and talents over the years, the team is doomed for failure. Blackwater hasn't moved deep in the playoffs in forever, and right now the team is so horribly assembled it has more guards than a bank.

    Continue reading below ↓

    I'm sorry you lost your job, coach Nash.

    But I am so happy for your freedom.

    With Blackwater in your rear view mirror, happiness is waiting for you again.

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