Gavina sees potential as Rene Pacquiao gets quality numbers in debut
For someone who had little time to prepare for his debut game in the big stage, Rene Pacquiao came in and made the most of his opportunities.
The second cousin of eight division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao impressed in his first try in the PBA, battling the likes of Justin Brownlee, Japeth Aguilar, and Joe Devance on Friday.
And with the famed Pacquiao in attendance, Rene did all he could to deliver for Mahindra, finishing with six points and a rebound in his eight minutes on the floor.
Unfortunately, his debut came with non-bearing consequences, as the Floodbuster closed their 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign with 94-80 defeat to Ginebra.
But Pacquiao’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with coach Chris Gavina admitting that he’s a fan of the 6-foot-5 big man.
“Rene came in and was ready. Few guys can come in ready on a big stage against a team like Ginebra and go out there and be productive, so I give him a whole lot of credit for not shying away from the big moment and stepping up with the limited minutes he had,” he said.
Pacquiao was drafted 25th in the 2014 PBA Draft by the franchise, but languished largely as a practice player before playing for a short while with MP Hotel in the PBA D-League.
However, Gavina is adamant to the management to keep the window of opportunity open for the 30-year-old.
“I told management to keep him in the active lineup,” he said. “Let me develop him, let our coaches develop him, and who knows? We may have a Pacquiao superstar in basketball as well.”
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