Rookie Keith Agovida says total team effort key to Mahindra’s upset over powerhouse Alaska

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Rookie Keith Agovida refused to take sole credit in Mahindra’s giant 101-95 victory over powerhouse Alaska in their PBA Governors Cup match Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-2 Agovida said beating Alaska requires total team effort, something Mahindra was able to do so well after staging a massive 2nd-half rally to overhaul a 16-point deficit.

“Siguro team effort yung ginawa namin kaya nanalo kami kasi nagusap-usap kami sa team at sabi nung mga seniors kailangan magsama-sama kas kami,” Agovida said after the game.

The lanky guard/forward out of Arellano University poured all 11 of his points in the 2nd half, including a crucial jumper with 43 seconds remaining to give the Enforcer a 99-95 cushion.

Asked about his newfound confidence after being traded by Blackwater to Mahindra during the conference break, the former high school scoring phenom from Jose Rizal Univesity said lead assistant coach Chris Gavina simply challenged him to play his heart out.

“Sinabi lang sa akin ni coach Chris na effort lang, kasi kung wala ka sa focus at effort ipu-pull out ka, eh yun naman ang ginawa kong effort, importante eh ano man ma-contribute ko sa team,” added the 26-year-old rookie who was selected 34th overall in last year’s PBA Draft.

Agovida, who now averages 7.25 points, is best remembered for scoring a mind-boggling 82 points where he led the JRU Light Bombers to a 127-49 rout of Malayan in the 2008 NCAA junior basketball tournament. – Richard Dy

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