NASH Racela is happy to be part of the Philippine team that broke the Korean hex in Asian basketball - and happier for older brother Olsen.
“Buti na lang part ako dito, at least represented si Olsen,” said Racela, one of the Gilas Pilipinas assistant coaches, after the Philippines wrapped up its 86-79 victory over Korea in the Fiba Asia Championship semifinals.
Gilas Pilipinas’ victory broke a string of heartbreaking losses suffered at the hands of Korea, the most painful coming in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan involving an all-pro team where Olsen was the starting guard.
Olsen became the goat when he missed two crucial free throws for the Jong Uichico-coached team down the stretch, setting the stage for a game-winning triple by Lee Sang Min in the semifinal match.
Nash said Olsen was surely happy to see Gilas exact a measure of revenge.
“I’m sure he is happy,” said Nash Racela. “Gusto ko na nga siyang kausapin.”
The Far Eastern University coach trying to atone for Olsen's heartbreak wasn't on his mind going into the game. “These kinds of game, you can’t be emotional. You still have to focus on the game kasi kapag iniisip mo pa ‘yun, it will affect your decision making,” said Nash.
“Fulfilled dahil pinasaya natin ang buong bansa,” said Nash. “More than the personal fulfillment, it’s more for the country. Ibang klase ‘yung suporta na napakasarap sa harap ng sambayanan.
“Masarap kasi tinalo natin sila without Marcus. It’s an all-Filipino lineup,” said Nash. “Coach Jong will be happy. Lahat ng teams na dumaan sa Korea, alam ko masaya sila ngayon.”