PBA Season 43 Preview: Without marquee players, Kia to bank on sheer work ethic
Head Coach: Chris Gavina
Key Players: Reden Celda, Glenn Khobuntin, Jackson Corpuz
Key Additions: Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Jon Gabriel
Key Losses: LA Revilla, Jason Ballesteros
Kia may not have the most star-studded of lineups in the PBA, but the Picanto have a sheer force of will to rely on.
“We’re realistic in knowing that we may not have top tier guys but what we have are the hardest workers in this league and I can attest to that hard work,” said Gavina. “We’re envisioning our team to be highly-disciplined and to be defensive-minded.”
Gavina hopes that their sheer level of hard work would be able to make up for their lack of talent.
“We cannot be normal, our effort and activity level has to be in an extraordinary pace in order to overcome the discrepancy in the level of talent with other teams.”
And supplementing that pure will to win, and unadulterated potential hustle, is the influx of a championship mentality from former San Miguel Beermen JayR Reyes and Ronald Tubid.
The two, together with Rashawn McCarthy, were acquired days before the 2017 Draft wherein the Picanto gave up the no.1 pick that turned out to be ABL standout Christian Standhardinger.
Gavina hopes the former Beermen’s presence alone would be an enough influence to uplift the team’s mentality after suffering in the scourge of last year’s Philippine Cup when Kia, then known as Mahindra Enforcer, finished 3-8.
“The San Miguel guys that came over brought tremendous character and that championship experience is invaluable to our younger guys,” said Gavina.
“They can teach them how to get to that championship level, the ability to relay that championship focus and effort in practice will be of great help to us.”
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