Racela sticks with his import as TNT meets Globalport tonight
(Ynares Center, Antipolo)
4:15 p.m. – KIA Picanto vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs GlobalPort
ANTIPOLO – Nash Racela, with genuine amazement, was asking why scribes were trying to squeeze him in answering whether or not Glen Rice Jr. is here to stay as TNT KaTropa import.
With Michael Craig still watching behind the bench in the last three games, the jury is still out on the son and namesake of the former NBA All-Star.
“Let’s say that he’s day to day,” Racela said when someone asked who he will play against GlobalPort on Friday at Ynares Center here where the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup enters its second half. “Let’s just put it that way.”
Rice has shown the ability to score, as witnessed Wednesday night when he dropped 31 on Blackwater that went with seven steals. But from among the imports of powerhouse teams, the former Washington Wizard in the NBA is built differently and plays unlike the others.
And the fact that Craig is still here opens Racela up for that sort of questioning.
“Slowly, he is getting a feel of the league,” Racela said of his import, who likes to play the perimeter more and is considered small compared to the others because of his lean frame. “He now understands the calls (of the referees) and the physical plays (on him).
“He knows that the local players will be after him (being the import) and at least tonight, he was in control of himself emotionally,” Racela went on. “And as long as he continues to understand that, I think we will be OK.”
The Texters will put a two-game winning streak on the line against Terrence Romeo and GlobalPort at 7 p.m. as sides need to string up wins in a hurry to get to the upper half of the standings with places in the top four carrying a distinct advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
GlobalPort has that sort of bruiser for an import in Murphey Halloway, who churns out double-double numbers with impunity which could help the Batang Pier in their playoff drive.
Right now, both the Texters and the Batang Pier are not there even as KIA Picanto and Blackwater slug it out in the 4:15 p.m. contest with the Elite looking to get back on track.
KIA, on the other hand, has pressed the panic button and tapped Geron Marquis Johnson in place of Markeith Cummings as it tries to salvage what little is left of its playoff hopes starting with the game against the Elite.
Blackwater, on the other hand, lost for the first time in four games with the prolific Henry Walker on Wednesday night but is listed as the solid favorite against the 0-7 Picanto.
In related developments, Blackwater and Barangay Ginebra came to terms on a trade that sent injured sophomore Art dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar to the Gin Kings in exchange for Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo.
Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer has also made an import change by signing up Terik Bridgeman in place of Wendell MacKines.
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