TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela refused to let pressure get in his team’s head in the midst of an alarming tailspin that has put their playoff bid in the PBA Philippine Cup in jeopardy.
The Texters’ 93-78 loss to Ginebra on Sunday night was their second straight and fifth overall in nine games, leaving them right in the playoff cutline at eighth heading to the final stretch of the elims.
Asked if the MVP group’s flagship club is in panic mode with only two games remaining in the eliminations, Racela would rather train their sights on their next game on Wednesday against GlobalPort.
“You can’t really think about it (pressure),” Racela said after emerging from the dugout following a long meeting with his staff. “You just have to focus on the next game. Hopefully we win the next one and it changes (the complexion).”
Racela has reason to hardly worry based on the Texters’ performance in the last edition of the all-Filipino conference. In the last PH Cup, they finished at 6-5 and still wound up tied for fourth spot and reached the semifinals where they dragged eventual champion San Miguel Beer to the distance in a best-of-seven series.
And one win is what Racela is hoping to start the turnaround.
“We just need to break the losing streak,” Racela said. “We just have to find ways to win the next one. We don’t really have a choice, but to focus on the next game.”
Racela, though, can improve something himself, particularly his player rotations after starting Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy, who both usually come off the bench this conference.
As a result, their bench production left much to be desired on Sunday.
“We’re trying to address those things, siguro better management from my end,” Racela said. “For some of our players, we’re not getting the usual numbers that we get from them basing on the previous conferences, years, so something is changing. So again, we need to make our adjustments, and be able to manage it better.”