FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela welcomed the arrival of a number of high-profile coaches in the UAAP ranks, even if it bound to make life hard for the Tamaraws in their title defense next season.
The Tamaraws lifted their first championship in a decade by beating University of Santo Tomas in a best-of-three finals that went the distance, but they can expect the UAAP landscape to change significantly next season with slew of coaching changes in the league's ranks.
De La Salle has tapped former Letran champion coach Aldin Ayo to replace Juno Sauler; Ateneo has tapped no less than Gilas coach Tab Baldwin as replacement for Bo Perasol while Adamson has brought in five-time champion coach Franz Pumaren.
Racela, though, said the coaching changes are understandable. And he's far from intimidated.
"I look at them as a normal coaches, not their names," he said. "This is a result of wanting to win at all cost. At least for them (schools), they try to get the best players in high school, and now they're getting the good coaches."
"That's their choice," Racela said when asked about the whole round of changes. "You can't stop them from doing that. The same way to us, we have our own recruitment when it comes to the players. We have different ways."
The appointment of high-profile coaches, Racela said, reflects a heightened sense of urgency for Ateneo and La Salle, which have missed the finals for two seasons in a row after one or the other - or both - saw action in the title series for most of the past two decades.
"I think they're pressured to win now because for the last two years, they've missed the Finals," Racela, who is an assistant of Baldwin at Gilas, said of La Salle and Ateneo.
"That's something we brought up in 2013, that since 1993, there is an Ateneo or La Salle, or both, in the finals. Then all of a sudden, they're not there. They're pressured to perform and to win, that's why they're making those changes."