MANILA, Philippines -- As happy as he was to finally record a second win in the UAAP Season 84 tournament, Adamson University coach Nash Racela acknowledged that it was also hard for him to fully celebrate.
This, as the Soaring Falcons' victory came at the expense of his older brother, Olsen Racela, and the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws.
"Now we know how Coach Olsen felt the last game we played them," Nash said on Tuesday, after the Falcons held on for a 64-63 victory against the Tamaraws behind the go-ahead three-pointer of rookie Matty Erolon, and a last-second deflection by Cedrick Manzano.
When the two teams met in the first round of the tournament, it was FEU that emerged triumphant, thanks to a clutch three-pointer by rookie guard RJ Abarrientos. After the Tamaraws' 66-65 win, Olsen admitted that he felt "mixed emotions" in beating his younger brother.
"We wanted to win, I wanted to win," said Nash, whose squad now has a 2-6 win-loss slate after ending a five-game slide. "Talagang, we gave everything that we've got, and in the end, it's nice that we were able to get that win."
"But sabi nga niya, you look at the other side and you see your brother, biglang mag-iiba," he added.
It was another thrilling game between the Falcons and the Tamaraws, with LJay Gonzales giving FEU a late 63-61 lead before Erolon put Adamson ahead for good. The Tams had one last chance with three seconds to go, but Xyrus Torres' pass for Emmanuel Ojuola was deflected by Manzano.
"You know, it's hard to celebrate, again, when you look at the other side, and 'yung kalaban mo 'yung kapatid mo," said Nash.
Nonetheless, he said that their team will celebrate after finally winning a close game. Save for a blowout loss against Ateneo de Manila University in the first round, Adamson's five defeats came by an average margin of three points.
"Mahirap, but siguro, just focusing on us and on our team, I think my team deserves ice cream tonight," said Nash.