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Olsen hopes to sustain Nash’s ‘culture of excellence’ at FEU

By Jerome Lagunzad

As basketball players, Olsen Racela enjoys a considerable lead over his younger brother Nash, having played in the pro league for almost two decades while collecting a handful of awards – team and individual – along the way.

But as coaches, Olsen is well aware that he’s trailing behind Nash, who’s been synonymous to success – both here and abroad – since he started calling the shots back in 1998 at the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.

Make no mistake about it, however. There won’t be any inch of sibling rivalry as Nash is serving as a guiding light for Olsen on his latest coaching gig.

“It’s not motivation, hindi rin pressure. It’s more of looking up to him,” admitted Olsen who continues to seamlessly fit himself in after taking over the reins of powerhouse Far Eastern University from Nash last February.

“Siya ‘yung role model ko as a coach. Ang tagal na niya nagko-coach and he’s been through a lot,” he added of the current TNT mentor, who won titles in MBA and PBA D-League as well as in the UAAP with the Tamaraws back in 2015 and in the SEABA Cup last year with Gilas cadets.

Of course, Olsen, 46, is confident he can sustain the “culture” that Nash has established at the Morayta-based camp since 2012. And so far, he likes what he’s been seeing from the new breed of Tamaraws ahead of the UAAP men’s basketball tourney which gets going on September 9.

Olsen, a one-time mentor of Petron (currently known as San Miguel Beer) in the PBA, will have a reunion of sorts with former RP Youth team members, Arvin Tolentino and Hubert Cani, while notable recruits RJ Ramirez and JR Parker could make an impact right away in the absence of workhorse Raymar Jose and slasher Monbert Arong.