Although Chris Gavina acknowledged he was surprised to learn about his appointment, new Rain Or Shine head coach Chris Gavine said he considered it a welcome challenge.
Gavina has taken the place of Caloy Garcia, who was named as active consultant while taking a crucial role as one of Gilas Pilipinas deputy coaches.
Gavina, former head coach of KIA/Mahindra (now known as Terrafirma), said he already met the team following his appointment.
"I was able to have the first day of training with the group today.
Obviously everybody found about it after the media release by Rain or Shine yesterday," Gavina said in an interview on Rey Joble's "The Link".
Although he does not plan to change entirely the team system, the US-raised Filipino coach said he will be giving the Elasto Painters more freedom and play to their strenghts.
It is something that he did during his time at KIA, which reached the playoffs in his tenure despite not having star power.
"Stylistically with our length, athleticism and speed, p'wede kaming mag-open up the floor with our playmakers Rey Nambatac, (Jayvee) Mocon, and Gabe (Norwood) and let our shooters like James Yap, really put them in positions where they can be themselves and really do what they do best . . . Our bigs can all shoot, we give them the green light," said Gavina.
"When we're at KIA, we focused on development. That's something I'm great at . . . Parang when you struggle, you got to be able to accept your weaknesses and focus on your strength. Don't dwell on those weaknesses, that's our mindset right now."
Gavina added that he wants Rain Or Shine to be in the position to win games even against teams that are deeper.
"Obviously I'm not gonna go in and make out that I'm more knowledgeable than 21-time champion Tim Cone, champion coach Chito (Victolero) and coach Leo (Austria) with their tremendous lineup that they have," he said.
"The only thing that we can do is try to build that mindset of hardworking people and put us in the position to stay close against those kind of teams."
FROM THE ARCHIVES