RAJKO Toroman will be facing his former team Petron Blaze for the first time since resigning late last year as the Barako Bull Energy Cola tangle with the surging Boosters on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Energy Cola (3-2), in fourth spot in the standings, face the second-running Boosters (4-1) at 4:15 p.m.
The Serbian mentor said there’s nothing personal facing his former team but considers it as a challenge, considering that Barako Bull will be facing a Petron squad that has now settled down in Racela’s system.
“Now we have to go out there because we have two big games coming up in Petron and Talk ’N Text. That’s a test of character for our team, hope we could play much better,” said Toroman.
Marcio Lassiter, Petron’s sophomore gunner who played under Toroman under the Smart Gilas national team, said he looks forward to playing against Barako Bull.
“It’s gonna be interesting to play with our former consultant/coach,” said Lassiter, whose team tries to stretch its winning run to five.
Toroman currently serves as Barako Bull’s active team consultant though he shares head coaching duties with Bong Ramos, preparing the plays and presiding over the team’s practice.
Toroman served as the Boosters’ team consultant and co-head coach with rookie mentor Olsen Racela at the start of the PBA’s 38th season. But after Petron’s 2-3 start with a talent-laden roster, management decided to relieve Toroman of his post and hand over the coaching reins entirely to Racela.
With his “inactive” status as team consultant, Toroman sought his release papers and went on to join Barako Bull, which since late last year, has been in search for a new coach after the Energy Cola parted ways with Junel Baculi, who is now with Globalport.