TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela is somehow relishing his team’s underdog role and precarious position against San Miguel Beer ahead of Game Four of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Racela bared the conversation during the meeting with TNT management before practice on Tuesday revolved around relating the Beermen to “barking dogs” after coach Leo Austria stated that they “will not back down” following a halftime commotion that occurred in Game Three.
Racela understands where SMB is coming from, but assures the Texters are likewise refusing to back down as they try to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
“I know we hear a lot from the other camp about them ‘not backing down,’” Racela said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice. “Sa amin, the analogy is like mga aso, dogs that bark: usually they do because they just try to protect their territory.”
“Right now, they’re the best in the league – the champions, and they just want to protect that,” he continued of the Philippine Cup champions. “Right now, they’re just trying to intimidate us.”
“But at the same time, it’s also a sign of weakness,” the young coach was quick to add. “You study dogs, they bark at you expecting you would run. But if you don’t, baliktad – yung aso yung aalis. And that’s our approach in this series.”
After losing the last two games, the Texters remain as confident in trying to even the series and derail SMB’s Grand Slam aspirations – especially after getting a pep talk from team owner Manny V. Pagnilinan on the eve of Game Four that tip off at 7 p.m.
“We’ve had a positive meeting and viewing session,” Racela said. “Of course, we’ve pointed out mistakes that we’ve committed and we all agreed to it, and we were all accountable.”
“The players, especially, committed to correcting those things, so that we’ll have a bigger chance,” he added.