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MANILA, Philippines – It appears the relationship between Ateneo’s Tab Baldwin and Adamson’s Nash Racela remains icy.
Racela and Baldwin got slapped a double technical foul during the Blue Eagles’ 70-48 win over the Soaring Falcons in the playoff for the last Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 86 on Wednesday, November 22.
The two head coaches figured in a verbal spat with a minute left in the third quarter before the referees stepped in.
While Baldwin downplayed the exchange, Racela hinted at the severity of it.
“You really want the truth on what he said? You want to know what came out of his mouth? It is not for kids to hear,” said Racela.
After the game, Racela walked past Baldwin during the handshake line, although the Adamson tactician clarified he failed to spot his Ateneo counterpart as he kept his attention on the final play.
Jerom Lastimosa, the Falcons’ graduating star who saw action despite suffering a season-ending knee injury, capped the game by sinking a three-pointer at the buzzer.
“I was watching the last possession when I was walking towards the Ateneo bench so I probably missed him. Whether it was intentional or not, then…” said Racela.
Racela blasted the UAAP officiating over a week ago after the Falcons absorbed a crucial 62-58 loss to the Blue Eagles in the elimination round last November 12.
Days after, Baldwin took a jab at those whom he felt were “exerting pressure” on the referees publicly, calling it a “shameful” act.
The odds stacked against it, Adamson won its last two games in the elimination round against NU and UE to arrange a sudden death for the last Final Four spot against Ateneo.
Although the Falcons ran out of steam in their Final Four bid, Racela said he is mighty proud of his charges.
“Nobody gave us a chance. Who would have imagined that after two to three months of playing, we would be playing for a slot in the Final Four?” said Racela.
“As a coach, you should be happy and proud of how your players competed. So if somebody else sees it in another way, then, maybe he needs eye surgery.” – Rappler.com