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Blackwater coach Nash Racela confident about team's improvement in bubble

The Blackwater Elite arrive at the Quest Hotel in the Clark Development Zone for the PBA bubble. PBA-CDC

Blackwater Bossing coach Nash Racela said it felt good to finally see his players gather together for team practice for the first time since the opening quarter of the year.

But given the lack of team practice for over six months due to the COVID-19, Racela admitted the players' timing and movement were off.

"More on excitement (atmosphere in practice) so the start was a little hard on the eyes," Racela said, poking fun at the team's initial practice at the Angeles University Foundation court in Angeles, Pampanga.

"Kind of rusty as expected. Movement and timing were both off but we expect it to improve the next few days," he added.

Racela though mentioned the team is looking forward to the upcoming scrimmages with other squads in an effort to fast-track their conditioning.

"Court time is best for game conditioning so the more we do scrimmages, the faster they will get back into game shape," Racela told ESPN5 on Friday. "Honestly, I don't expect them to be at 100 percent when we start the games in October 11."

In order to accommodate all the 12-member teams on the two courts of the Angeles University Foundation, the PBA arranged different schedules for each ballclub everyday.

The silver lining for Racela is that every PBA squad currently huddled at the Clark Freefort bubble is experiencing whatever Blackwater players are experiencing at this time.

"No choice regarding court scheduling. Good thing about it is that practice time is not consistent for all so all teams would need to adjust to it," said Racela, who last handled TNT in 2018.

Fil-American rookie big man Maurice Shaw is expected to join Blackwater by Oct. 6 as he is currently observing a 14-day quarantine as mandatory protocol from those arriving from overseas.

Shaw, listed at 6-9, will give the Bossing the ceiling they've needed since trading away vastly-improved slotman Poy Erram to TNT.