FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela will miss a few games for the Tamaraws due to the Fiba World Cup, but he doesn't expect the team to struggle without him.
Racela is set to leave for Spain on Wednesday night to join Gilas Pilipinas in his capacity as assistant coach to Chot Reyes. He is set to head straight to the airport after the Tamaraws face fellow league-leader De La Salle in a marquee match-up on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“After the La Salle game, I’m going straight to the airport,” said Racela.
Racela’s departure comes at a time when the Tamaraws are tied with reigning champion De La Salle at the top of the standings with a 7-2 win-loss card and on track for another Final Four appearance in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for a team that lost top stars Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.
Racela said he trusts the players enough to expect the team to sustain the streak under assistant coach Eric Gonzales.
“I’m confident na the players will be in good hands. The players mentally are prepared for the games that I will miss. I’m trusting all of them,” said Racela.
"We have prepared the team for eventualities like this na nawawalan ng players or nawalan ng coach, everybody is ready to step forward."
Racela won’t be in Spain for the entire Fiba World Cup as he will only miss two FEU games against University of the Philippines (August 30) and Adamson (September 3). He will be back in time for the September 7 game against University of the East.
It helps that the Tamaraws will be facing the league's minnows in the Maroons and Falcons in the games Racela will miss. But the coach expects nothing less than a victory.
“We are not thinking of getting losses over the period,” said Racela.