Olsen Racela taps Gee Abanilla as Petron lead assistant coach

AKTV/Paolo Papa

Olsen Racela is slowly putting his mark as main man in charge of the Petron Blaze Boosters.

After management asked him to take a more active role calling the shots for Petron, Racela has designated Gee Abanilla as his lead assistant.

“I was asked to become Olsen’s first assistant,” confirmed Abanilla in a telephone interview.

According to PBA rules on bench decorum, only the head coach and his lead assistant are allowed to stand up on the sidelines during games. Improper bench decorum merits a technical foul.

The move sheds some light over the continuing role of Rajko Toroman, the Petron team consultant who had been asked to take a step back to take a less active role on the team. In the Boosters’ first five games, Toroman shared coaching duties with Racela, and took the lead role on the sidelines.

With Abanilla designated as lead assistant, Toroman would have to sit silently on the Petron bench if and he rejoins the team. The Serbian coach told InterAKTV that he had missed recent Boosters practices because he had been sick.

Earlier, Racela downplayed major changes to Petron with the new setup.

“Everything’s going to be the same except that Coach Rajko will not play an active role anymore,” he told InterAKTV.

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