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    Racela keeps faith in Joshua Smith, says 'we're not even thinking about' changing imports

    Jun 26, 2017

    NEEDING all the help that he can get, Nash Racela is now asking his wards – apart from the rest of his coaching staff – their input on what the Texters can improve in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against San Miguel Beer.

    After they lost Game Three, 109-97, to fall 1-2 behind in the best-of-seven series, the TNT coach gave the Texters a break on Monday, but gave them an assignment before they report back to practice the following day on the eve of Game Four on Wednesday night.

    “Well, rest is very important, but we told the team to make sure we do our homework, watch the game, and study,” Racela said. “I told everybody to pitch in if they have suggestions, be ready to throw it come Tuesday.”

    One thing the Texters should lessen is their turnovers after committing 23 compared to just 12 by the Beermen in Game Three.

    “We committed a lot of turnovers, that's basically the problem,” Racela said. “It resulted in 26 turnover points, so that's one problem that we need to really address for Game Four.”

    “It's always a combination,” he added of where he attributes their errors. “Because of their defense, because of siguro poor execution on our part, so we need to really look at that.”

    One thing that they’re hardly concerned about is the performance of Joshua Smith amid talk of an import change.

    “No, no, we're not even thinking about that (change) at this point,” Racela stressed after Smith bounced back from a poor performance with 18 points, 14 boards, three assists, two blocks, and one steal in just 24 minutes.

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    The Texters, though, could use some help from Roger Pogoy, who went scoreless for the second straight game after firing a career-high 27 points in the series opener.

    But Racela kept his trust in his rookie wingman, who still played the most minutes (38:05) in the team after contributing 10 rebounds, three assists, and one block.

    “Okay lang as long as he's making the right decisions, taking the shots that he needs to take, kung open, ganun,” Racela said. “If it doesn't go in, walang problema, ganoon talaga. I think it's the same with (Marcio) Lassiter, 'di ba he was struggling a little bit but he was taking the right shots.” 

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