Ginebra retains Olsen Racela as assistant coach, but Cariaso destination still unclear
Olsen Racela shows up for Ginebra's third day of practice on Wednesday with fellow assistant coaches Jorge Gallent and Freddie Abuda. Snow Badua

TWO days after a coaching change that led to the return of Ato Agustin at the helm of Barangay Ginebra, another development unfolded at the Kings' camp on Wednesday.

Ginebra alternate governor Alfrancis Chua has announced that Olsen Racela is staying put in the team, joining Freddie Abuda and Jorge Gallent in Agustin's pool of assistant coaches.

"I already introduced him to the team kanina," Chua told shortly after monitoring Ginebra's third day of practice for the PBA Commissioner's Cup which opens in January 27.

[See New Year, fresh changes as Ginebra makes transition from Cariaso to Agustin]

Chua made it clear Racela wasn't fired when the team made the decision to re-appoint Agustin.

"Hindi naman siya tinanggal. Everything was misinterpreted. Hindi siya tinanggal o inalis in as far as management is concerned. He's always welcome and he is always very much in the team," he added.

Chua believes that Racela is the best man to serve as mentor to Ginebra's long line of young backcourt talent like Emman Monfort, Jens Knuttel and James Forrester.

"We know the legacy of Olsen and hopefully he can continue nurturing the talents of our youngsters," he said.

[See Clamor from players for return of Agustin led to Cariaso exit, admits Chua]

Chua, however, remains mum on the reported arrival of former San Beda coach Frankie Lim in the Ginebra camp, saying everything is still under negotiations.

Ginebra still has one more slot open in its coaching staff.

Meanwhile, Chua is set to finalize the contract of Ginebra's import for the midseason conference.

Since they are still in the middle negotiations, Chua refused to name the prospect but hinted he is one of the standouts in the NBA D-League today.

"Huwag muna kasi nakikipagusap pa kami. Malamang maayos at magkapirmahan ns. Pero he's up there among the (top) talents in the NBA D-League," he said.


"We want to make sure that the team is in the right direction, everything is carefully evaluated before moves are made," said Chua, still one of the most loved personalities in the team having brought Ginebra to its last finals appearance in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup.

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