Chris Gavina confident Mahindra can ride out absence of top scorer KG Canaleta
KG Canaleta is out for the rest of the PBA Governors Cup elims. Jaime Campos

MAHINDRA will have to play without its leading scorer for the rest of the PBA Governors Cup eliminations.

Assistant coach Chris Gavina confirmed hot-shooting KG Canaleta won’t be back to active duty at least until the playoffs of the season-ending conference.

Canaleta, who paced the Enforcer’s locals in scoring with a 12.6-point average on 41 percent shooting from three-point range, underwent an appendectomy last Thursday.

He already missed the team’s 103-88 loss to Rain or Shine on Friday night, and is expected to sit out Mahindra’s games against Barangay Ginebra on Friday and Meralco Bolts on Sunday in its final elimination round assignment.

The Enforcer are already assured of a playoff for a quarterfinals berth.

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Gavina said the team definitely missed Canaleta’s presence against the Elasto Painters.

“KG is averaging 13 points and we lost by 15,” noted the soft-spoken mentor. “I think he’s out for the rest (of the eliminations).

“Yeah big time,” he said when asked if the Enforce missed Canaleta’s presence. “It’s the same issue when we lost LA (Revilla to injury), everybody has to adopt. It’s always a one-game adaptation.”

But for a team that has exceeded expectations this conference, Gavina is confident his team can again rise to the challenge.

“I think our guys are resilient enough to persevere after this (loss), learn from it and get ready for 16,000 people (watching the Ginebra game) come Friday,” said the Mahindra deputy.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos