Tuesday, April 18, 2017
ILOILO City – Rodericko “Olsen” Racela is bracing for a tough battle when the Toto Tia-Far Eastern University Tamaraws starts its campaign in the Iloilo National Invitational Basketball Championship (INIBC) slated from April 28 to May 1 at the Pototan Astrodome.
Racela, who replaced his younger brother – now TNT Katropa mentor Nash Racela – said he is glad that the Tamaraws will participate in the tournament to help build the team’s chemistry heading into the UAAP.
“We expect a very exciting league since magagaling na teams ang kasali sa liga. It will help build our chemistry since I am new to this team,” said Olsen, who is also part of Tim Cone’s coaching staff at the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings.
“Basically, I’m here to continue whatever Coach Nash has started. He has done a wonderful job for four seasons. I hope to continue that,” added Olsen, who had a brief coaching stint in the PBA with the San Miguel Beermen.
The Tamaraws, the champion of the UAAP Season 78 men’s seniors basketball tournament, will parade its newcomers Hubert Cani, former Rookie of the Year Arvin Tolentino and Jasper Parker.
Also in the Tamaraws roster are Kimlee Bayquin, Brandrey Bienes, Prince Orizu, Wendelino Comboy, Ron Dennison, Kevin Ebona, Richard Escoto, Alejandrino Inigo, Joseph Nunag, Ronnel Ramirez, Alec Stockton, Joe Trinidad and Kenneth Tuffin.
“I and Nash share the same vision when it comes to mentorship, guiding young men to become better players, better students, and more importantly, better individuals. ‘Yun ang gusto kong i-continue,” Olsen said.
“More than the basketball side, mas importante ‘yung after basketball. We want to continue that same program that Nash had,” he added. “Also I want to bring the defensive mentality to FEU.”
Other teams that will compete in the four-day tournament are the University of the Philippines Maroons, who come from two pre-season championships, the College of St. Benilde Blazers, and local-enforced Sky Cable./PN