Screenshot from livestream
Chris Gavina was wearing a quite unique face mask in his head coaching debut for Rain or Shine in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, July 16.
Gavina donned a black face mask with the word “culture” spelled in capital letters and printed in white during the Elasto Painters’ gritty 83-82 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The 42-year-old mentor took the time to explain the distinctive piece of cloth over his face, stressing the values that he and the rest of the coaching staff have been instilling in the team since he took the post from Caloy Garcia.
“Culture is big for our team, our organization. We’re taking a lot of pride in delivering excellence in everything we do, on how we act on and off of the court,” said Gavina.
“Like I said from day one since they appointed me, we kind of set the culture of no excuses, just put in the hard work and make sure that we just trust the work once we’re on the court. And I’m really glad it showed tonight,” he added.
The former Kia tactician was elated of the effort his Painters gave especially on the defensive end during the crucial closing seconds.
After burying a triple to cut their deficit down to just one, 82-83, Kiefer Ravena made a steal and ran down the court for a layup but Beau Belga and Jewel Ponferrada quickly recovered on defense and forced the NLEX star to pass the ball to Anthony Semerad.
Gabe Norwood went in front of Semerad, who opted to dribble and take a tough shot against the outstretched arm of Javee Mocon. Semerad misfired as the buzzer sounded, allowing the Painters to complete their escape.
“I always say that defense is in our DNA here in Rain or Shine,” said Gavina. “We take pride in that. Coach Caloy built that foundation and we’re just here continuing the momentum.”
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