CHRIS Gavina is looking to reinforce the blue-collar work ethic that became the hallmark of Rain or Shine teams in the past in his new role as head coach.
Gavina attended his first practice as head coach of Rain or Shine on Tuesday as Caloy Garcia was named active consultant and head of basketball operations.
The newly-installed coach admitted the Elastopainters may not be as talented as other teams, but Gavina believes they will thrive through hardwork.
“I just feel like we have a culture based on work. We may do things differently from other teams. I told them that today. Our way may not be a way of others. But my job is to continually define reality for our players,” said the 42-year-old following Tuesday’s practice.
Rain or Shine is the last team not under the San Miguel Corporation banner to win a championship, taking the PBA crown in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup, with Yeng Guiao as head coach.
The Elastopainters have since been a regular in the playoffs but never got as far as the finals again the past five years.
While he is not guaranteeing a championship overnight, Gavina said he wants his players to become even more competitive under his leadership.
“We want to just breath competition. We are a bunch of competitors who have that mindset that they can always succeed, that they always have something to prove, that they can push to his level to persevere,” he added.
“That mindset, I feel, that we can improvise, adapt, and overcome any situation. Parang use adversity as a gift where we can push us to the next level we want to go to. That’s the direction that I’ve kinda lay out for the next few days. Hopefully, everyone buys into it,” said Gavina.
Gavina admitted he was surprised by the decision of management to promote him as head coach in lieu of Garcia.
“On one hand, I was truly in shock because I have been working closely with Coach Caloy and I saw the vision he had in mind in how he wanted us to play this upcoming season and we were hard at work setting it up with the team.
"And then when the movement of him becoming head of basketball operations and myself to head coach, I was taken aback,” said Gavina.
Nevertheless, Gavina expressed his gratitude to Garcia for all the knowledge he gained while being one of his deputies.
“As much as I was excited about the challenge presented to me I couldn't help but be so grateful for being under Coach Caloy and the amount of knowledge I learned, just watching him prepare and teach," Gavina said.
"I'm truly motivated in being able to pay him back as well as the entire Rain or shine organization in bestowing this level of confidence in me by ensuring that the vision of returning to the upper echelon levels of PBA basketball comes to fruition."