Mahindra is shooting for 2 birds in one stone on Wednesday — establish a new franchise winning streak and a chance to beat Barangay Ginebra for the first time.
Lead assistant coach Chito Victolero believe momentum is on their side after speeding off to a 3-1 record and tying the franchise’s strong start from the Governors Cup during their maiden season in 2015.
But Victolero also warned his players of the expected huge Ginebra crowd that will be backing the Kings at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
“Sabi ko lang sa mga players na importante yung mental toughness namin for 48 minutes, especially nandun yung crowd at lalo na kapag nagra-run na ang Ginebra,” Victolero told FOX Sports on Tuesday.
Playing coach Manny Pacquiao has yet to show up in the team’s current campaign in the 2nd conference, though Victolero said the former has been calling the team regularly.
“Medyo ayaw naman namin siyempre istorbohin si coach Manny sa plano at training niya, pero nandiyan naman siya lagi at alam niya kung ano ang nangyayari sa team,” explained the 40-year-old Victolero.
The Enforcers are coming off a 106-99 win over the NLEX Road Warriors that allowed them to surpass their 2-win output in the Philippine Cup.
Currently, Mahindra is perched at 2nd spot in the standings behind league-leader Meralco, which is off to a 5-0 start in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“Positive naman ako bukas sa laro against Ginebra. Maganda din naman ang practice namin,” shared Victolero, a former Mapua Cardinal coach.
“Kailangan lang madagdagan pa ng konti ang aggressiveness namin kasi alam naman natin an ang advantage nila eh nasa bigs nila, si Greg (Slaughter) saka Japeth (Aguilar),” he added.
The Kings are coming off a morale-boosting 92-87 victory over the Star Hotshots to climb to a share of 4th and 5th spots with Blackwater in the team standings. — By Richard Dy