MAHINDRA seeks to keep making milestones in its young history as it takes on Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Enforcer have clinched their first-ever postseason appearance and surpassed their best win total in a conference after taking down TNT Katropa, 107-104, last Friday. And they try to move on the verge of securing a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals when they face the Elasto Painters at 7 p.m.
But Mahindra coach Chris Gavina is reminding his wards to keep even-keeled amid their emergence in the season-ending tournament, where they are tied with defending champion San Miguel Beer and Ginebra in second spot with a 6-2 win-loss record.
“We’re definitely moving toward the right direction, but we’re really just trying to stay as level-headed as possible, not trying to get too high or too low,” the rookie coach said as he continues to lean on import James White and star locals Aldrech Ramos and LA Revilla in the absence of injured Nino Canaleta. “Just staying consistent with what we do.”
The Enforcer face the reigning Commissioner’s Cup champions in the E-Painters, who have had a roller-coaster campaign in the Governors Cup.
However, Rain or Shine hopes to get back on track with the addition of Jason Forte as their last-minute replacement import for over-height Greg Smith and underperforming Dior Lowhorn.
The E-Painters, running sixth in the standings at 3-4, seek to arrest a two-game skid, the latest a 101-99 loss to GlobalPort last Saturday in Legazpi.
“It’s going to be a tremendous battle and test for us,” Gavina said. “We have worked on mental toughness all-week long in practice in preparation for ROS’ style of basketball.”
“Our ability to bend and flow throughout [today's] game will aid us in coming out with a victory,” he added.
Meanwhile, Phoenix, tied with Rain or Shine in the middle of the pack, seeks to improve to an even slate as it takes on Star (1-6) in the opening game at 4:15 p.m.