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PBA: Uichico out, Racela in?

Is TNT KaTropa making a coaching change?

Sources said the Texters will soon be handled by Nash Racela, who will take over from Jong Uichico starting next season or after the former ends his stint as mentor of Far Eastern University in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

Racela, younger brother of ex-pro and current Barangay Ginebra San Miguel assistant coach Olsen Racela, has been with the TNT coaching staff since the time of then mentor Chot Reyes and Norman Black, currently coach of Governors’ Cup finalist Meralco.

Racela was appointed coach of FEU in 2013, and helped the Tamaraws end a 10-year title drought after beating the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in last year’s UAAP finals.

A source said Racela would be allowed to finish his stint in the UAAP with the Morayta-based school in early December before he assumes TNT’s head coaching post.

The 42nd season of the PBA starts late November.

TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio is not available for comment.

Uichico, on the other hand, said he is not aware of any development, saying: “I just saw it in the news. I haven’t heard anything from management.”

Uichico took over as TNT coach prior to the 2014-15. He steered the Texters to a championship finish in the Commissioner’s Cup last year, but in the last Governors’ Cup, the top seeded TNT lost in stunning fashion to Meralco in their semifinal series.

If and when Racela formally takes over at TNT, he would be the second new coach among the three teams under the umbrella of telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan, who also owns Meralco and NLEX.

The Road Warriors recently acquired the services of champion mentor Yeng Guiao, who opted to sign with NLEX instead of renewing his contract with Rain or Shine, his team the past six years that resulted into two PBA titles.

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