After another loss that sent Mahindra crashing back to earth, the Enforcer face another challenge as they will miss reliable gunner KG Canaleta in their last two games.
“I think he’s out for the rest of eliminations,” said Chris Gavina of to a handful of mediamen on the condition of the sweet-shooting forward.
Canaleta underwent appendectomy, a medical procedure to remove his appendicitis, on Thursday that will demand him to sit out for a good number of days.
This means that the Enforcer, widely-known as the giant-killer this conference, will play one man down against crowd darling Brgy. Ginebra on Friday.
Throughout their impressive run this conference, the 5-time Slam Dunk champion has been a consistent offensive threat in Gavina’s system. Without Canaleta, Mahindra crumbled in the face of Rain or Shine’s unforgiving defense.
Losing a reliable three-point specialist and capable slasher, Mahindra lost its bearing at crunchtime en route to their third loss in nine games.
“It seemed like because certain guys are playing out of character because everybody was trying to obtain what we are lacking from him,” shared the first-year coach.
Gavina pointed out that the very evident fact his wards sorely missed Canaleta was the 13-point loss they gave up against the Elasto Painters, close to his 12.6 average per game.
“(We missed him) big time, it’s the same issue when we lost LA, everybody has to adapt, there’s always that one-game adaptation but I think our guys are resilient enough to persevere in this loss,” he said.
But for now, Gavina will gear up as they brace for a mammoth crowd who will rally behind their next game’s foe Ginebra. – By Jason Mercene
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