Mahindra's Gavina focuses on positives despite ending campaign with 2-9 card | Inquirer Sports

Mahindra’s Gavina focuses on positives despite ending campaign with 2-9 card

/ 04:34 PM June 05, 2017

Mahindra coach Chris Gavina. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Bowing out early again this past 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Mahindra coach Chris Gavina noted that there are still silver linings he can take away going forward.

“For me, our last three games, it set us for a great bounce back for the third conference,” he said, as the Floodbuster ended their campaign with a 2-9 record, still at the cellar of the standings.

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“I told our guys keep your heads up. The hardest thing for a coach is to establish a winning mentality and nurture a winning culture. These past few weeks, I think adversity draws out a level of strength and qualities of a player that solidifies our grip moving forward as a group.”

Gavina also commended the efforts of rookie Reden Celda, who impressed him the most this past conference.

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“The way he stepped up, I see him not as a rookie anymore. I tell him that every single day, that he’s already turned that corner from a rookie to a sophomore,” he said. “He’s learning that every game, he’s going to be highly scouted now and his evolution is how he’s going to be effective even when he’s scouted like that. To go from the bench to a role player, now to a starter shows how great ceiling that he has.”

The 6-foot guard averaged 10.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in this campaign, and more importantly, emerging as a solid contributor for Mahindra to aid lead guard LA Revilla.

But Gavina’s praises isn’t limited to Celda alone, as he feels that he already has a budding roster which he can build on for the future.

“I can definitively say that there’s no more crybabies here,” he said, referring to one of his post-game tirades this past season. “I’m hoping that my personality kind of rubs off to some of these guys. Everybody knows that if I’m kind of hard on you, I’m always trying to make you a better player. You know what they say, if I’m not pushing you to your limits, I’m not doing my job.”

Gavina also believes that with enough trust and ample time from the Mahindra management, this core can develop into a solid unit despite the discrepancy of talent compared to the league’s top teams.

“Honestly, I’ve been pleading to the management to let these guys grow. That’s the greatest thing a young team can do, go through adversity, let them get some grit, gain some character from being resilient as a group. If were constantly changing guys every conference, we’ll never get that level of continuity,” he said.

“We have those guys right now to set the tone and send the message to every one of our guys to put in the work, do your part, and do your job. I’m hoping that we keep these core of guys and they build off these last three games.”

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TAGS: 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Chris Gavina, Mahindra Floodbuster
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