Nash Racela rues another playoff loss to SMC team: 'If you want to win a championship, we really have to get past a San Miguel team'
Coach Nash Racela says he is still proud of his team, with a finals appearance and two semifinal finishes. Jerome Ascano

TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela missed the presence of Glen Rice Jr. down the stretch of the team’s 115-105 loss to Ginebra Game Four of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals that signaled the end of the Texters season.

The Texters showed plenty of fight, leading by as many as 18 points even without Rice, who was thrown out late in the first quarter for shoving and throwing the ball at Kevin Ferrer in a deadball situation.  

TNT, though, lost steam and succumbed to a late Ginebra fightback.

And Racela made special mention of Ferrer for getting under the skin of Rice, who finished with two points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal in less than 11 minutes of play.

“Best Player si Kevin, simple as that,” Racela said. “Kevin Ferrer was best player of the game.”

Racela, though, declined to comment on what he felt was Rice’s frame of mind during the situation – and especially in a do-or-die game for the Texters.

“I really don’t know what happened. I’ll talk to him,” Racela said.

Racela noted that the Gin Kings again took the lead in the free throw attempts department, 33-16, converting 23, compared to the Texters’ 15 – despite Ginebra putting up just 47 shots inside the arc, compared to the TNT’s 62 two-point field goals.

“I just want to congratulate Ginebra for being the more aggressive team tonight, because they got a lot of free throws again,” Racela said. “Again, they were more aggressive than us, despite taking fifteen less two-point field goals. I’m sure that’s what coach Tim (Cone) will say.”

Asked of his assessment of the Texters’ season, Racela was still proud they reached at least the semifinals in all the three conferences – only to fall to a San Miguel Corp. side.

“I’m happy that for three conferences, we were able to advance to the playoffs – twice in the semis, one in the finals,” Racela said. “It just so happened that in all the three conferences, we played a San Miguel team – and you know how tough it is to play a San Miguel team, so it’s really hard.

“But if you want to win a championship, we really have to get past a San Miguel team,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos