KIA coach Chris Gavina lamented that it’s the locals this time whose contribution left something to be desired after he finally had some satisfaction in import Markeith Cummings’ play in their 94-85 loss to Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night.
Submitting sub-par showing in their last two games, Cummings responded to his coach's challenge as he registered 30 points, including 17 in the payoff period where he led a Picanto comeback that fell short.
“All throughout practice for the week, we did a lot of scrimmaging, and he was able to find a balance of when he needed to take over,” Gavina said of Cummings. “He just didn't get enough local support.
“His overall effort tonight was tremendous,” he added. “I really wish it resulted in a win, but I think him and our young team are heading into some levels of positivity.”
Cummings refused to blame his local teammates for the lack of support as Reden Celda, LA Revilla, Jackson Corpuz, and Jason Deutchman also scored in double figures.
“No, no, it’s no specific one person or I don’t like to put things into categories – locals, import, coaches – it’s none of that,” Cummings said. “When I agreed to sign with this organization, that became as one, so once we lose, it’s all one thing. There’s no specific person out of the group. We’re all in it together, so when we win, we’re going to all win together.”
“We just have to come out and play as one – and we’re getting there,” he added.
And Gavina believes it’s only a matter of time before they do.
“I keep telling them we've hit rock bottom, so there's no other way but up,” the young coach said. “We gotta get to the lows to get to the highs. It's one of the most used phrases, but that's the honest truth.”