UAAP: Nic Cabañero explosion comes as no surprise for Adamson

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Nic Cabanero
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Adamson coach Nash Racela knew his Soaring have their work cut out for themselves right before the ball tipped on Saturday.

The hosts Falcons bowed to Nic Cabañero and a young University of Santo Tomas side, 69-60, in a clash at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City that also got the UAAP  Season 85 of the men’s basketball tournament going.

“Cabañero was excellent. And that was expected,” said Racela, as he gathered his thoughts to recall an episode during the intermission.

“Actually, during halftime, I told the team—we’ve been emphasizing how aggressively Cabañero will go off in this game—he was able to talk to one of our assistants,” he said.

“They’re close. Him and coach Ryan (Betia). They’re both from Cebu. (Nic) said ‘coach, I’m sorry, but I’m really going to run your players over.”

Cabañero did just that, exploding for 33 points built on a highly efficient 72 percent shooting.

“We were trying to prepare the players for that eventuality. We did not succeed. He? He succeeded with his game plan. 33 and consistent?” Racela said.

The Adamson coach, who has coached on nearly every level of the sport, also heaped praises on this edition of the Growling Tigers, which is rebuilding under coach Bal David, a member of the famed 1993 squad that swept and won the men’s basketball tournament.

“Based on this game, they could do a lot of things. That’s good for their program,” Racela said.

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