MANNY Pacquiao graced Mahindra with his presence during the team’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against San Miguel Beer on Wednesday.
But he didn’t grant his the team the same in the dugout after what he saw.
The eight-division boxing champion and the Floodubster’s listed coach joined his team in a game for the first time this season but let lead assistant Chris Gavina call the shots.
Pacquiao, however, left early, obviously disappointed after seeing the Floodbuster suffer a 109-80 defeat at the hands of the unbeaten Beermen.
“I think he already left even before the game ended,” Gavina said. “We're all disappointed but we can't keep our head down too long especially not with a game three days away.”
Mahindra takes the court again on Sunday against GlobalPort.
According to close aides, Pacquiao went straight to the birthday celebration of Manila mayor Joseph Estrada at the Manila Hotel immediately after the game.
Asked if Pacquiao leaving early was a sign of disappointment, Gavina agreed.
“I'd say so,” Gavina said. “Who wouldn't be disappointed after this performance? We didn't even give ourselves a fighting chance tonight.”
“If we go out like this again on Sunday, the results might be ugly,” he added. “I hope these guys are challenged. I'm not the giving up type and I'll play with six guys if I have to as long as they show me they're willing to fight.”
Gavina was especially disappointed after the Floodbuster came out listless, just days after nearly pulling off an upset against TNT KaTropa before surrendering a close 86-84 decision last Sunday.
“Coming off a tight battle with Talk ‘N Text, we come out here with that deer-in-headlights look again,” Gavina said. “The level of consistency we show as a group is just lacking. I always tell our guys to put themselves in a position to be in a ballgame.”
The Floodbuster, though, missed the services of injured star Alex Mallari.
“Yes, we didn’t have Alex in game, so that means guys got be willing enough to have a next-man-up mentality and take on some of that responsibility that he left,” Gavina said. “I told the guys, ‘What are you going to wait for? This is your opportunity.'”
“It goes to tell you that if you don’t give any kind of fire from the onset, then you show that kind of response to adversity, then you don’t belong in this league,” he added. “It’s a man’s league and you got to man up.”