Racela defends 'tough' RDO trade: 'The early we turn the corner, the better chance that we will have'
TNT coach Nash Racela said the RDO trade had to be done, difficult as it was at this time, for the future of the team. Dante Peralta

ANTIPOLO City - Nash Racela admitted TnT Katropa has gotten the heat following its surprising decision to trade away veteran Ranidel de Ocampo.

Unpopular as the move may be, the soft spoken mentor brushed off the criticism, saying 'it is what it is.'

"A lot of people questioned the move, the timing. But things had to be done," explained Racela Wednesday night shortly after TnT subdued NLEX, 112-107, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center here.

"A lot of people won't agree with what we did."

The well-liked De Ocampo, 35, ended up being dealt to Meralco in three-team trade that also involved Phoenix after a nine-year stint with the team, where he won six championships.

Racela admitted that it was a difficult decision, but said the team had to make the move.

"The early we turn the corner, the better chance that we will have," he said.

The TNT coach disclosed it was a 'tough few days' for the team especially after the trade of de Ocampo and his final visit to the team practice on Tuesday to say his goodbye.

He described the practice as 'very emotional.'

Nonetheless, he was proud of the KaTropa setting aside their emotions and keeping their focus on the job ahead of them.

"Players were able to focus right away and I think today that showed in the game," he said as TnT improved its record to 6-3 overall.

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