MAHINDRA coach Chris Gavina called out Alex Mallari for his lack of maturity, leading to his star ward getting benched in the second half of the team’s 98-92 loss to Alaska on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Gavina felt Mallari was complaining too much on non-calls that went against him, prompting the coach to send his star to the bench with a little less than eight minutes left in the third quarter, never to recall him again.
“Totally out of character,” Gavina said. “He was getting opportunities of attacking the basket, but, on the other side, it wasn't about the turnovers, it was about his reactions to it. We can't afford to be complaining all the time and find excuses.
“I think that's a big lack of being an adult,” he added. “We have too many crybabies right now. You just got to man up, move to the next plate, and make the right plays next time and don't lull about the calls you thought you deserve.”
Gavina demands the best from Mallari, who finished with seven points – all in the first half – on 3-of-9 shooting, along with five boards, and four assists, against two turnovers in 23 minutes.
“Go out there and make another play to be productive,” Gavina said. “It doesn’t have to be in scoring all the time, it can be on defense.
“If he wants to be considered my best player, he needs to be a leader that leads by example and throwing tantrums or bad body language does not do it for me or the team,” he added.
Still, one bad game hardly changes Gavina’s sentiments that Mallari should’ve been included in an All-Star team for the midseason showcase next month.
“I think he was definitely snubbed,” Gavina said. “I still feel he's a tremendous talent. Today he played out of character but it doesn’t define who he emerged as last conference.
“So I need him to get back to where he was on maturity level and as well as being able to lead,” he added.