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PBA: Acid test awaits Mahindra

Games Today
(Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – Mahindra vs San Miguel
7 p.m. – NLEX vs Ginebra

Is Mahindra for real as a playoff contender?

The answer will be known today when the Enforcer take a big test in their bid in this season-ending conference as they face defending champion San Miguel Beer in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Only in their second season in the PBA, the Enforcer are making heads turn after winning back-to-back games to open their bid – beating the Star Hotshots (100-92) and Globalport Batang Pier (108-98) for a franchise best start.

To top it all, Mahindra did it under rookie mentor Chris Gavina.

The new mentor, however, fully understands that they have a lot to improve and that facing the powerhouse squad this early is a big challenge for them as a team.

“It’s a big game for us,” said Gavina, the lead assistant coach for Mahindra as he replaced Chito Victolero.

“Our culture is just to stay humble, stay hungry and be consistent in what we do inside the playing court. The thing we did expect is that we come in this conference prepared enough to compete,” added Gavina as Mahindra eyes its first franchise playoff berth.

At the moment, Mahindra and SMB are tied on top of the standings with TNT Katropa all with 2-0 records. They clash at 4:15 p.m., right before the 7 p.m. game of NLEX (1-1) and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-1).

Both the Kings and the Road Warriors are nursing defeats from their previous games. Ginebra dropped a 109-100 overtime loss to Alaska, while NLEX suffered a 94-93 setback on a game-winning three-point shot by San Miguel gunner Marcio Lassiter.

The import match up will have Henry “Bill” Walker of NLEX going up against Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee, who replaced the injured Paul Harris. Brownlee had 31 points 13 rebounds in his debut game but fatigue caused severe cramps that forced him to spend several hours to recover at The Medical City.