KIA coach Chris Gavina rued his team’s lack of focus especially at a time when it really matters that factored heavily in their 102-90 loss to GlobalPort in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night.
While he was finally pleased with his team’s effort in a game where they stayed within striking distance against the shorthanded Batang Pier, Gavina pointed to their poor start in the fourth quarter that proved to spell the team's biggest undoing.
“Honestly, I told the guys, this is probably the first game that I can honestly say that the overall effort from the guys fielded was there, but you don’t win games on just effort,” Gavina said. “You win games on your level of attention to detail, on being focused, on concentrating on the moment, and being able to respond to adversity.”
Gavina was referring to their start in the payoff period where they came in trailing by just five points, before allowing the GlobalPort lead to swell to 15 points, 85-69, with less than three minutes gone by.
“Our mindset goes from, ‘We can win this game,’ to, ‘Here we go again,’” Gavina said as his team stayed winless after seven starts. “And we got to break that mental wall of ours of not being able to break through situations where it’s just a matter of responding.”
“It’s all part of being a pro,” he added. “Some guys are more willing to do it on our team than others. Little things killed us again. Granted we got outrebounded, but we were still in striking distance ‘til the latter part of that game, so I’m at a loss for words.
“I told them this was a game we should’ve won,” he continued as his team lost to a GlobalPort side that missed superstar Terrence Romeo.
Markeith Cummings carried the offensive load as usual with 37 points, but found little help from the locals.
“Until we get to that level where we really believe in getting a commitment from everybody on the floor to make small contributions, it’s going to be difficult to get through it,” Gavina said.
“But on the upside of things, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the guys really fighting for each other this whole conference,” he was quick to add. “Yeah, guys made mistakes, guys missed shots, but that’s part of it. And for me, like I said to them, hold yourselves accountable. You got to hold each other to a higher standard from now on, and that’s the only we wet get through this.”