Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Olsen Racela ousted as Petron Boosters' coach; joins San Mig Coffee

Olsen Racela, who was appointed coach of the Petron Blaze Boosters before the start of the season, will join the coaching staff of San Mig Coffee, another team under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella.

“Just got the official word that Olsen is coming to our team and Koy Banal is going to Petron,” Mixers coach Tim Cone confirmed the news to InterAKTV via text message.

Gee Abanilla, Racela’s erstwhile chief deputy, will reportedly take over coaching chores at the Boosters.

Racela spent 14 seasons as a point guard with San Miguel Beer before retiring in 2011. He was an assistant under Ato Agustin before assuming head coaching duties.

Curiously, Racela returns to the same franchise where he began his PBA career in 1993. Then known as Coney Island, the Purefoods squad drafted Racela in the second round that year, making the team as a third-string point guard behind Dindo Pumaren and Frankie Lim.

Cone also coached Racela in the Philippine Centennial Team that won the bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games. Racela was the backup point guard to Johnny Abarrientos, who is also part of the San Mig Coffee coaching staff.

Racela met with San Miguel Corporation basketball officials on Tuesday, presumably to discuss the coaching move, but offered no details about what transpired during the meeting.


San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone welcomed the entry of former Petron Blaze coach Olsen Racela into the Mixers’ brain trust.

“We’re really excited for his addition to our staff. He has played and coached under some great coaches so it will be fun to pick his brain and get his ideas,” Cone told InterAKTV in a text message.

“He will be an impact addition to our team.”

With Racela’s departure from the Boosters, his erstwhile deputy Gee Abanilla will take over the coaching reins at Petron.

Racela’s entry did not come without a tradeoff for San Mig Coffee, however, as longtime Mixers assistant coach Koy Banal was also reassigned to the Boosters.

“It’s tough losing Koy. He really added our chemistry which I think is important,” added Cone.

Racela returns to the same franchise where he began his PBA career in 1993.

Racela was part of the Philippine Centennial Team coached by Cone that won the bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games. San Mig Coffee assistant coaches Jeffrey Cariaso and Johnny Abarrientos and team manager Alvin Patrimonio were also on that team.

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