Mahindra must start playing with sense of desperation to salvage season, says coach
"We play no more tomorrow," says Mahindra coach Chris Gavina. Jaime Campos

THERE’S no other way but for Mahindra to play with a sense of desperation when it meets Meralco anew in their PBA Governors Cup quarterfinal playoffs.

Stand-in coach Chris Gavina said it’s the attitude the Enforcer need to embrace if they are to send their series against the Bolts into a do-or-die encounter.

The two tangle again on Saturday with Meralco enjoying a twice-to-beat edge after securing the No. 4 seed in the playoffs behind a 104-99 win over Mahindra on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“This is it. We play no more tomorrow. That’s really what it comes down to,” said Gavina, who holed up inside the team dugout with the rest of his coaching staff for more than an hour following the loss.

[See Mahindra needs to grow up before it's too late, says Canaleta]

The setback was a heartbreaker for the Enforcer, who failed to hang on to a 57-41 lead early in the third period after allowing the Bolts to counter with a sizzling 16-0 blast.

Big guard Jared Dillinger, rookie Amer Baser, and import Allen Durham had a huge hand in putting together the run that turned the tide in Meralco’s favor.

“We have to lock down on guys who really did well for Meralco,” said Gavina. “Those three guys were keys (to this game), so we have to make the proper adjustments (against them).”

Despite the daunting task staring the young franchise, the Mahindra deputy still likes the Enforcer’s chances of making the semifinals for the very first time.

“It’s playoffs. It’s one game at a time. It’s a matter of two games, so we take care of Saturday and its 0-0 again on Monday,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos