Norman Black says Mahindra ‘well-coached’ but Meralco up to the challenge

They might appear groping for form in the latter part of the eliminations, but Mahindra assistant lead coach Chris Gavina is convinced that his wards is good to go to kick off their first-ever playoff appearance.

After losing three straight games, the Enforcer saw themselves pitted against Meralco in a virtual best-of-three quarterfinal series that will start on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The two teams, who fell to an identical 6-5 record, will actually slug it out for the number 4 spot first to determine who will gain the twice-to-beat advantage before heading to their quarterfinal series.

READ: Norman Black chalks up 600th career win as Meralco survives Mahindra

Gavina, who successfully brought transformation to the expansion franchise in just his first conference, believes the key against their quarterfinals match-up against the Bolts will be staying composed.

“If there are lessons we have taken away from our last three games is that we are more than capable of competing against the top-tier teams as long as we can stay consistent on both ends of the floor,” said Gavina in a text message to FOX Sports.

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

The amiable mentor said they worked on their offensive flow and committing aggressive defense that will come in handy against the Bolts.

Mahindra will also have a timely reinforcement with the return of sharpshooter KG Canaleta at the fold after recovering from appendectomy.

“I think we will put ourselves in a position to come out on top tomorrow,” he said.

Meralco coach Norman Black, on the other hand, is up to the challenge on bringing his team to another good finish.

“We worked hard to get in this position, so we will fight for our chances,” said the veteran American mentor.

Recognizing Mahindra’s capability on slinging them down, the American mentor pointed out that their defensive plan will focus on putting cuffs on import James White while stopping the local production of playmaker LA Revilla, and shooters Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos.

“Mahindra played really well this conference, they are well-coached,” said Black. – By Jason Mercene

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH

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