Racela confident rookie picks can provide energy, hustle for Blackwater

Published April 11, 2021, 3:12 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

Blackwater coach Nash Racela believes the three players he picked in last month’s PBA Rookie Draft will be key pieces once the pro league’s 46th season tips off sometime this year.

The team which will now carry the moniker Bossing didn’t have any first round picks during the recent draft proceedings but was able to get Joshua Torralba and Reymark Acuno in the second round and Andre Paras in the third round.

Having an idea of how Torralba, Acuno and Paras play given his past coaching experiences in the UAAP, PBA D-League and MPBL, Racela sees them providing something Blackwater lacked during last season’s bubble.

“Ito yung mga bata na palaban din (These players are no pushovers),” Racela told former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on the episode of Power and Play that aired Saturday, April 10.

“Mahilig mag-hustle. They don’t just think about their offense. So two-way sila palagi (They always think of being two-way players, meaning they also think of providing hustle plays rather than just thinking about their offense),” added Racela.

Of the three, the 6-foot-2 Torralba may be the one who can provide additional support on offense as seen during his collegiate days at Emilio Aguinaldo College and La Salle and with Makati in the MPBL.

Racela is also high on Acuno, the 6-foot-7 former University of the East cager, and Paras, who despite being known more for his showbiz commitments was able to excel as a solid rebounder for AMA in the D-League.

READ: Andre Paras ‘the biggest steal’ in Rookie Draft, says Blackwater owner

“Both are young bigs, utility guys. And they could give you different things,” said Racela.

The Bossing are out to bounce back from a 2-9 record in the Philippine Cup despite losing key players like Mac Belo, Roi Sumang and Don Trollano via separate trades with Meralco and NLEX.

Blackwater did manage to get in return Baser Amer, Bryan Faundo, Simon Enciso and David Semerad through those deals.