Mahindra is just in its 2nd season in the PBA, but young playmaker LA Revilla is convinced that the Enforcers are slowly earning the respect of the rest of the teams due to their scrappy play.
The Enforcers (3-1) matched the young franchise’s best start in a conference following their king-sized 106-99 upset of the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After placing 11th in the season-opening Philippine Cup, Revilla said Mahindra is determined to erase that bitter experience by coming out with a worthy performance in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“NLEX had the run, but credit to my teammates for not giving up so we were able to bounce back and fight till the end,” Revilla said, moments after helping Mahindra vault to solo second spot behind unbeaten Meralco (4-0) in the standings.
Revilla, a former La Salle Green Archer, said the Enforcers’ numerous endgame meltdowns during their first 4 conferences in the league have served them well due to the newfound poise they show early in the tournament.
And he credits veterans Nino Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos, the team’s 2 key acquisitions during the offseason for providing the leadership and poise, which Mahindra sorely lacked last season.
“Kung ganyan ka-aggressive yung dalawa (Ramos and Canaleta), tough iyan sa kalaban namin and it’s going to be good for us,” said the 24th overall pick of GlobalPort in the 2013 PBA Draft.
Canaleta and Ramos average a combined 30 points in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Both forwards are also capable of knocking down 3-pointers at any given night, thus giving the Enforcers 2 reliable scoring threats.
However, Revilla stressed the need to be consistent on defense and offense in the hope of seeing Mahindra reach the playoffs for the 1st time in the history of its young franchise.
“We just want consistency and we always challenge ourselves,” he said.
Mahindra shoots for its 4th next next Wednesday when it faces crowd drawer Barangay Ginebra at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. — By Richard Dy