Mahindra eyes 6 wins to punch 1st ever PBA playoffs ticket

Mahindra lead assistant coach Chito Victolero chose to dwell on the positives just days after seeing the Enforcers absorb a 104-86 beat-down at the hands of powerhouse Barangay Ginebra Kings.

The Enforcers were overwhelmed by the Kings in all major departments, getting beaten off the boards, 58-39, assists (26-16) and inside points (48-22).

But at 3-2 and currently tied for 4th to 5th spots with the Kings, Victolero said they just need to lick their wounds, learn from their mistakes and then move forward.

“Iyung mga ganitong laro in the future, kailangan namin kasi siyempre, bata pa yung team. Hindi pa maka-handle ng ganitong klaseng laro,” Victolero told FOX Sports as he referred to Mahindra’s 18-point loss to Ginebra.

“But very positive naman ako that we will get there (playoffs). Basta lang matututo kami to start strong lang and dapat na hindi biglang mawala.”

Victolero feels 6 wins will pole-vault Mahindra to the playoffs, which would be a 1st for the 2-year-old PBA franchise.

The Columbian Autocar Corp. franchise is halfway through its goal after beating big teams like GlobalPort (111-98), San Miguel (102-96) and NLEX (106-99).

But first things first, the Enforcers need to get back on the winning track, beginning this Wednesday against the Phoenix Fuel Masters at 4:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Although the Fuel Masters have lost 3 straight since opening the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 118-106 win over the NLEX Road Warriors, Victolero wants to see the Enforcers come out aggressive from the get-go.

In addition, Victolero said rebounding will be critical in controlling the tempo of the game against Phoenix.

“Rebounding din naman ang pinagha-handaan namin kasi kapag natalo kami sa rebounds ng malaki, malaki chance naming matalo,” explained the 40-year-old Victolero, who played for Sta. Lucia and FedEx from 2002 to 2005 in the PBA. – By Richard Dy

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