TIM Cone, Johnny Abarrientos, and Olsen Racela turn back the hands of time as all three find themselves working together - yet again - at San Mig Coffee starting this PBA Governors Cup.
The transfer of Racela from Petron to San Mig has paved the way for a reunion with the same coach and the same point guard he used to relieve during his stint with the 1998 Philippine Centennial team.
Racela’s appointment makes him the latest addition to the growing coaching staff of Cone with the Mixers that already included Abarrientos, to whom he served as back-up with the national team when it won the bronze medal in the Bangkok Asian Games 15 years ago.
Jeffrey Cariaso, also a current assistant of Cone, served as scout of that same team that also won the championship of the Jones Cup during the same year.
Although still dazed following a short-lived coaching stint with the Boosters that lasted for only two conferences, the 42-year-old Racela readily welcomes the opportunity to reunite with the very same people he once worked with in the national squad.
“I look forward to an even greater learning experience under coach Tim (Cone),” said Racela on the same day he bid farewell to the entire Petron team.
Looking back, Racela said from the very beginning he’s already aware there’s no guarantee as far as his stint as Petron coach is concerned.
“I knew from the start that nothing was cast in stone. So whatever is asked of me by team (management), I’m willing to do,” he said in an official statement shortly after briefly appearing in the morning practice of Petron on Wednesday at the Acropolis gym.
Racela added he always maintained a `good solider attitude’ with the team ever since he joined the San Miguel franchise as a rising star in 1997 under the venerable Ron Jacobs.
“It’s what I did as a player and it’s what I’ll continue to do,” said the point guard of six San Miguel championships in the past.
Despite the sudden change of direction, the 5-foot-11 former Ateneo stalwart remained grateful for the San Miguel franchise for giving him the chance to handle the Boosters no matter how brief the stint was.
“It was a great opportunity for me the past two conferences,” said Racela, who retired in 2012 at the age of 40.
Taking over the coaching job left by Racela at Petron is his former deputy Gee Abanilla.