Racela ‘optimistic’ Joshua Smith will play in Finals

Racela ‘optimistic’ Joshua Smith will play in Finals

The TNT Katropa had two reinforcements present during the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals press conference on Monday afternoon. Joshua Smith, TNT’s fourth import for the conference, arrived with the team but was trailed by Mike Myers, TNT’s insurance.

According to team manager Virgil Villavicencio, the team’s officials are meeting with medical specialists this Monday night to see the gravity of the 6-foot-10, 300-pound big man’s toe injury.

But if head coach Nash Racela was to be asked, he is positive that the 25-year-old will play come Game One on Wednesday, June 21.

“I’m always optimistic,” Racela quipped.

Smith averaged 18.25 points and 10.25 rebounds in TNT’s four-game semifinals series against Ginebra. But in case the doctors do not clear Smith, the Katropa and Myers will be ready.

“Nag-pra-practice din siya with us,” Racela shared about Myers, who stands at 6-foot-8.

Still, the youthful mentor, who is making his first PBA Finals appearance as chief tactician, is hoping for the best.

“Of course at this point, if we could, we want to stick with Joshua.

“He’s familiar with the game, with the PBA, the officiating. He’s been with the team for a month and a half, so the question is why replace him if he can play,” the 45-year-old coach said. “If we can stick with him until the last game, then we will.”

TNT will have until 12:00nn on Tuesday, June 20, to decide if Smith will be fit for Game One.

About these ads