MANILA — When Manny Pacquiao said he wants his Mahindra to win the PBA Governors’ Cup, he wasn’t joking.
The Enforcers are on track to make its first playoffs appearance following their 97-88 victory over Blackwater on Sunday. They racked their fifth win in seven starts, the most since the franchise debuted in the PBA back in 2014.
But Pacquiao stressed that Mahindra should set its sights not just on the playoffs. “Siyempre ang goal namin is mag-champion,” he said.
This is why he has been generous to his players in terms of bonuses whenever they score crucial wins.
The coaching staff also introduced several rules to improve their play. One is imposing a P20 fine on any player caught staying in one position for more than three seconds.
That’s because Pacquiao wants his players to keep moving around the court so they can get open looks at the basket.
“Sinabi ni Boss Manny na may fine,” explained Mahindra assistant coach Chris Gavina. “If you stay in one place for more than three seconds, you have to pay P20. It’s the coach’s fund.”
Second, those who commit turnovers will be required to do pushups in practice. They took particular notice on errors after the team committed 20 turnovers in their defeat to NLEX last week.
“So it’s either you were gonna get really strong (thanks to the pushups), or you’re gonna learn not to give up turnovers,” Gavina told sports website Spin.
Pacquiao had the biggest game in his young PBA career last Sunday when he connected a three-pointer late in the first half against the Elite. He scored four points in four minutes of action in the first half – surpassing his career total.
Prior to their game against Blackwater, Pacquiao scored a total of three points in seven games.
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