Racela believes KaTropa ‘didn’t give their best’ in close win over KIA

By Inquirer.net |January 31,2018 - 09:43 PM

PUSHED to the wall by an opponent taken lightly by everyone almost every time, TNT KaTropa on Wednesday night knew it just did enough to survive this one.

“I didn’t see that they gave their best today,” coach Nash Racela said of his Texters, who barely nosed out cellar-dwelling KIA Picanto, 90-85 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, to climb to the upper half of the 12-team pack in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.

“We cannot have this same effort against Phoenix (Petroleum, and in our next three games),” Racela went on after the Texters were forced to 12 lead changes and three deadlocks by a Picanto side whose three of six defeats have come by more than 35 points.

It took two RR Garcia jumpers inside the dying minutes for the Texters to pull this one out of the fire and rise to 4-3 (win-loss) for fourth place at the moment, as Racela stayed on their target of finishing at least in the top six after this round to be in a level playing field in the first round of the playoffs.

“A lot of times, the problem starts with expectations,” the young coach answered when asked why this game between one of the league’s traditional powerhouses against the doormat was close all the way. “People expect blowout games against KIA, but oftentimes, expectations are different from reality.”

Racela said that he tried drilling that in his players’ heads leading to this game, and was obviously dejected at the effort he saw.

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