Chris Gavina deflects credit to coaching staff for Mahindra’s strong start

As far as Mahindra’s lead assistant coach Chris Gavina is concerned, the team’s flying 2-0 start came more as a surprise, considering the quality of opponents the Enforcer have beaten early in the PBA Governors Cup.

The Enforcer opened the third conference with a gut-wrenching 100-92 overtime win over 2014 PBA Grand Slam champions Star Hotshots, before adding Philippine Cup semifinalist GlobalPort Batang Pier to their list of victim via their 108-98 win on Wednesday.

Gavina said the franchise-best 2-0 start wouldn’t have been possible if not for the help he got from his assistant coaches led by Mulong Orillosa, Robert Wainwright and Richard Alvarez, along with team consultant Joe Lipa.

“Really, great thanks to my coaching staff because they have been instrumental in the development of our team, collectively and individually,” Gavina told media men after the game.

The Fil-American coach though refused to be carried away by the team’s fast start, noting that Mahindra had similar strong starts in previous conferences, only to falter in the end.

“The way we set up our culture is to just stay hungry, be humble and be consistent with that we do,” stressed the former strength and conditioning coach-turned lead- assistant coach.

Mahindra got the much-needed break as well in the absence of GlobalPort’s high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo, who is down withg stomach flu, and injured veteran shooter Joseph Yeo.

Gavina hopes the Enforcer will be able to sustain their defensive intensity when they return to action next week against defending champion San Miguel Beer.

Import James White energized the Enforcer with 28 points, 20 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Stretch four Aldrech Ramos added 16 points while playmaker LA Revilla added 11, 7 boards and 4 assists. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava