TnT’s stalwarts loom as huge X-factor against SMB » Manila Bulletin Sports

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Jasyon Castro (L) and Nash Racela (R) (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Jasyon Castro (L) and Nash Racela (R) (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

by Ernest Hernandez

Considered as the underdogs in the upcoming 2017 PBA Commissioners Cup Finals, TnT KaTropa will put their young guns to the test against powerhouse San Miguel. The young stalwarts are aware that they are the key component in possibly stealing the championship from the mighty Beermen.

“For me, yung crucial para sa amin yung mga young guys at the same time, yun yung mga advantage namin. Yung energy nila, the way na tumakbo sila at sana madala ang kanilang A-game,” said Jayson Castro.

Dubbed as Asia’s best point guard, “The Blur” offered TnT’s young core of sophomores (Troy Rosario, Mo Tautuaa and rookie Roger Pogoy) advice on what to expect in this crucial PBA stage.

“Maging confident lang sa sarili nila,” said Castro. “Kasi alam naman natin na against San Miguel, marami silang defensive game plan vs sa kanila at sa akin. We just need to play the system ni Coach Nash (Racela) and yung defensive game plan namin. Playing against San Miguel, alam natin na napakalakas nila.”

TnT coach Nash Racela, will be playing in his first PBA Finals, relishing every minute to gather what he can, not just today, but for the team’s future battles.

“There are a lot of times that you have been given new opportunities that bring out the best in you,” said Racela.

“This is something new to most of us. I, myself, is a first timer. Nine out of fifteen are all first timers in the PBA finals. I just hope they all take advantage of this opportunity right in front of us.”

Racela admits that he has been monitoring San Miguel head coach Leo Austria since his early days as a head coach in the PBL with Welcoat and also in college with Adamson. For him, coaching against someone he looked up to is already a huge opportunity.

“I have been a fan of coach Leo ever since nasa amateur pa siya. I have been following him from Welcoat (and) into Adamson. It is nice to (be) given a chance to coach right against him.”

Racela and Castro prepare for Game 1 of the PBA Commissioners Cup Finals happening this Wednesday (June 21) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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