PBA: Birthday boy Canaleta shines in Mahindra win
It was a 35th birthday to remember for Nino Canaleta.
Canaleta torched GlobalPort with all of his 20 points in the first half, setting the tone for Mahindra’s 111-98 victory over GlobalPort to open the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But the gunner said that his stellar performance wasn’t just because of the occasion.
“Pinaghandaan namin yan,” he said. “Sobrang excited ko siguro maglaro ulit dahil napaaga yung pagka-out namin. Medyo tumaas din yung kumpyansa kasi sabi nila tira lang ako ng tira.”
Canaleta went 4-of-6 from threes and also added six rebounds and a block in the victory.
With the Enforcers falling a game short of making it to the Philippine Cup playoffs, the well-travelled
forward shared that the whole team is motivated to fare better in the second conference.
“Yung preparation namin maganda. Noong preseason, maganda yung outcome dahil nananalo kami sa malalakas na teams. Siguro nakatulong yun,” he said, as Mahindra only had a two-week break after the last conference before going back to the grind. “Mahaba na yun. Kami yata ang pinakamaaga nag-start ng practice. Ako nga hindi nagbakasyon at walang out-of-town trip kasi mahirap magbakasyon na walang bonus at na-out yung team mo.”
It also helps that the team focused on improving the chemistry.
“The little things, back-to-basics ang ginawa namin,” Canaleta said.
Meanwhile, Canaleta believes that Augustus Gilchrist is bound to have a good performance for the Enforcers despite an underwhelming debut, saying that he has seen how the import worked over the off-season.
“Nakikita ko sya araw-araw that he works hard,” Canaleta noted. “Maaga sya sa practice para mag-shooting. Maganda yung nilalaro nya sa mga tuneup, pero siguro medyo nagulat lang sya. Nanalo naman kami. Yun naman ang importante.”