Mahindra reactivates Manny Pacquiao, takes spot of injured LA Revilla as Enforcer face Alaska

Though Mahindra lost its starting point guard LA Revilla to injury, lead assistant coach Chris Gavina expects the remaining guards in his team to step up while hoping to draw inspiration once more from playing coach Manny Pacquiao when they play Alaska on Wednesday.

The Fil-American coach said Revilla got hit accidentally on the nose during practice on Monday and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital.

Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda, meantime, said the former La Salle guard is scheduled for operation on Tuesday at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan.

“Baka ma-out siya ng minimum ng two weeks after ng operasyon today sa Cardinal,” Pineda told FOX Sports.

On Tuesday, the pint-sized Mahindra playmaker was also relegated to the injured/reserve list on Tuesday, paving the way for Pacquiao’s reactivation in the PBA Governors Cup.

Gavina said Pacquiao’s showing up and play against the Aces in their 7 p.m. match is a “possibility”.

“He (Pacquiao) didn’t show up today (in practice) but he’s activated. And I believe there’s a possibility (he’ll play),” Gavina said after practice.

The Enforcer are off to a franchise-best 3-0 start after beating 2014 PBA Grand Slam champion Star Hotshots, GlobalPort, before knocking off defending champion San Miguel Beer last week.

While Mahindra is expected to miss Revilla’s nightly output of 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists, Gavina plans to dig deep into his bench, expecting John Pinto (3.3 points and 4.3 rebounds), along with Nico Elorde and Hyram Bagatsing to step up.

“We got the ‘next man up’ mentality in the team and everybody seems ready to contribute in the place of LA,” explained Gavina, the former strengths and conditioning coach-turned-assistant coach of Mahindra.

Mahindra though expects the competition to be a lot tougher with Alaska’s energetic Calvin Abueva set to return from a one-game suspension.

“Definitely, we’re looking forward to what Alaska will throw at us and Calvin Abueva, hope we can match his energy because I’m sure he’ll be unleashed tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said.

Alaska is currently tied with NLEX and Blackwater at the bottom half of the standings at 1-2, losing to TNT, 120-118 in its latest game last week in Antipolo. – Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava