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    Chito Gavina says playing-coach Pacquiao presence can be a boost to Mahindra morale

    Jun 20, 2016
    Playing-coach Manny Pacquiao has yet to show up in practice for Mahindra, even at the end of the May elections. Jerome Ascano

    CHRIS Gavina knows the task of handling Mahindra in the coming PBA Governors Cup now lies on his broad shoulders.

    But he sure wouldn’t mind being joined on the bench by playing-coach and now Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao from time to time.

    The former strength and conditioning coach said he expects the retired boxing superstar to show up in the Enforcers’ games once in a while. And he doesn’t care if there are people who question the basketball intellect of the 37-year-old General Santos City native, saying he welcomes the chance to work with an eight-time world division champion.

    “It feels good having a (world) champion sit beside you (on the bench),” said Gavina, who was born in the Philippines but grew up in New Jersey. “It will be a big boost for our team, for our morale.”

    Since Gavina took over the spot from Chito Victolero as Mahindra’s chief deputy assistant, Pacquiao has yet to show up in any of the team’s daily practices, even in its tune-up game against Barangay Ginebra on Friday at the Arellano gym in Legarda.

    Gavina, who previously played in the defunct Liga Pilipinas and served as strength and conditioning coach of the Philippine Patriots and Globalport Batang Pier, said he understands the nature of Pacquiao’s busy schedule, especially now that he’s been elected as senator for the next six years.

    “I haven’t seen him for a while,” he admitted, adding his last meeting with the ‘Pacman’ was during the course of the campaign period.

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    “And I know he’s busy with all the Senate stuff right now and he kind of based himself in GenSan.”

    Just the same, the Mahindra deputy welcome very much Pacquiao’s presence during Mahindra games.

    “I do hope to see him in the games,” said Gavina.

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    Playing-coach Manny Pacquiao has yet to show up in practice for Mahindra, even at the end of the May elections. Jerome Ascano
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