Like his unheralded team, Mahindra rookie coach Chris Gavina out to prove he belongs
Chris Gavina got a win over Star in his Mahindra coaching debut.

AFTER Mahindra stunned Star in the PBA Governors’ Cup opener last Friday, Enforcers rookie coach Chris Gavina put himself on the basketball coaching map with an impressive victory over a perennial contender.

Promoted from strength and conditioning coach to lead assistant in place of Chito Victolero in the offseason, the unheralded Gavina made a great impression in his debut as the Enforcers grinded out a win against the Hotshots in a game that needed an extra session.

“It lets everyone know that we belong and we’re here, and we’re ready to make an impact in the PBA,” Gavina said. “And hopefully that brings us more fans whenever we play.”

On a personal note, Gavina is also out to prove that his surprise appointment was right despite his coaching experience only previously limited to strength and conditioning.  

“I’m humbled to be here and it’s a dream come true,” said Gavina, who played in Liga Pilipinas a few years ago, before eventually getting into the coaching ranks as the AirAsia Philippine Patriots conditioning coach.

Now, Gavina is suddenly at the helm of the Enforcers, who seek to sustain their gains when they take on the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.

“We’re hoping for continued success for our team,” said Gavina, who draws strength from a rag-tag local cast that supports import James White, the youngest among the imports at 22 but plays with maturity beyond his years.

Batang Pier counterpart Dominque Sutton hopes to lead his team to victory after failing to do so against Ginebra, which played without an import in the fourth quarter but still hacked out a 93-81 win last Saturday.

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