MAHINDRA coach Chris Gavina’s fear came true as his team lost to Rain or Shine on Friday night and dropped to third spot with a 6-3 win-loss slate in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
After reminding the emergent Enforcer to guard against complacency after clinching a first-ever postseason appearance, the rookie coach saw his wards fail to match the intensity of an Elasto Painters side that played with a sense of urgency.
“They came in with a playoff fire that they knew they had to win today. It was a level of desperation on their end that we didn’t possess,” Gavina said after emerging from the dugout following a long talk with his staff.
“We came in with a kind of high that we were happy about making the quarterfinals and I could already tell going in that we didn’t have the same edge that we’ve had in the previous two games,” he added.
The Enforcer kept it close and even held the lead at some points in the first three quarters, before allowing the Elasto Painters, playing virtually with an all-Filipino lineup with new import Jason Forte just arriving the day earlier, to break loose in the payoff period.
“It’s a hard thing to kind of deal with and prepare your young guys like that, but this is a trial by fire,” Gavina said. “For me, the great lesson that Rain or Shine taught us was as we move toward the playoffs, is that’s the atmosphere we’re going to face."
"We got to play with that level of desperation, and efficiency, and hunger that they showed today," he added. “It was a good learning experience for our guys."