ANTIPOLO – KIA coach Chris Gavina lamented his team’s continued lack of effort and commitment that was apparent in a 118-97 defeat at the hands of Blackwater in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Friday night.
Gavina had hoped it would be a “championship game” like usual between two young squads that joined the league at the same time in 2014. Instead, the Picanto allowed the Elite dismantle them in a one-sided game where they trailed by as many as 49 points.
“Slump is not the word, more like a massacre out there today,” Gavina said at the start of his interview with scribes after the loss that kept them winless in eight games in the season-ending conference.
“I was straightforward with the team, I told the management I think I’ve been as nice as I could be to handle what’s going on, but I’m tired of seeing the body language, the approach these guys have from practice coming into the games,” he added. “You can just tell guys have checked out and I’m tired of it.”
Gavina didn’t mention names, but stressed there are players who failed to bring their A-game and repay the faith of their coach.
“The bull___t will be called out come next practice, there’s gonna be changes,” Gavina said. “The guys who fought in the second half obviously showed that our system in defense can work if there’s some effort and commitment to it.”
“Now, others just don’t want to commit to it,” he added. “And pasensiya na, guys are putting other people’s livelihood on the line including mine, and I do not like being embarrassed, and that first half of being down forty points?”
“I mean, I don’t take anything away from Blackwater, they had a game plan, they hit some great shots, but come on, forty points?” he continued. “It was just ridiculous of how much these guys are taking for granted the amount of trust I’m putting in him.”
And this has appeared to be the last straw for the amiable Gavina.
“There’ll be no more Mr. Nice Guy come Monday, I promise you that,” the 38-year-old tactician said. “If I gotta practice with eight or nine guys, so be it; everyone else who doesn’t want to be there, stay the hell home. That’s the message being sent cause I’m tired of this s___t.”
“Bottom line, it’ll always come down to me and what I am doing. Am I capable of running this team?” he added.
Gavina vowed to do whatever it takes for the team to avoid another blowout loss.
“The culture will be set,” he said. “Whether it’s me to move forward or not, but I guarantee you, these last three games, I’m going to continue what I need to do for the sake of this team, this organization, and I will not let us get embarrassed again, because this was ridiculous tonight.”
“I could take losing by a hundred if we came out with a level of urgency and spirit that I know these guys are playing their heart out, but to come out there and show a lack of gratitude at the position they’re in and taking this position for granted, hell no. Let’s just be men about stuff and you will be dealt with,” he added.