NASH Racela makes his coaching debut for Far Eastern University as the Tamaraws face Adamson on Saturday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
The Tamaraws take on the Falcons at 12 noon in the first game of a seniors’ division tripleheader.
Racela said the Tamaraws are still far from top form even though he took over the head coaching job from Bert Flores as early as months after the end of the last UAAP season.
“I’m looking at this tournament as an opportunity to improve,” said Racela, who is out to steer the Tamaraws to a return trip to the Final Four in the UAAP after missing the semifinals last season.
Aside from the Filoil preseason tournament, the Tamaraws are also preparing as a team in the PBA D-League, but without their key players in RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo, who are playing for different teams in the amateur league.
“We are still working on a lot of stuff including cohesion and playing as one team,” Racela said.
Leo Austria will continue to work on the sidelines as Adamson head coach for the game despite his commitment with the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League.
In other games, De La Salle goes for its second win against winless Southwestern University at 2 p.m. before Ateneo guns for its fourth straight win in a showdown with University of Santo Tomas at 4 o’clock.
The Green Archers are fresh from a 73-67 victory over UST behind rookie Jason Perkins’ fourth-quarter assault.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are facing the Tigers in a rematch of last season’s Finals of the UAAP and the Philippine Collegiate Champions League finals. Ateneo won the UAAP, while UST went home as the winners in the PCCL.