With the Office of the Senate just 500 meters away from the Cuneta Astrodome, listed Mahindra Floodbuster head coach and senator Manny Pacquiao, together with his son, decided to watch his first game of the season on Wednesday night.
But it was the wrong timing for the Fighting Senator, as Mahindra were taking on the mighty San Miguel Beermen. And the game was not even close, as Pacquiao, who is used to be the one giving the beat downs, witnessed the Beermen take charge for all but 33 seconds of the contest.
Numerous Beermen took turns in the beat down, with Alex Cabagnot, Charles Rhodes, and Marcio Lassiter combining for 64 points on 25-for-37 shooting. The San Miguel lead even ballooned to as high as 34 points before they settled for 109-80 victory — Mahindra’s sixth loss in seven games.
The lambasting was so bad that even Pacquiao went to the Mahindra dugout during halftime to fire up the boys.
“He was really stressing on the guys to attack the basket because we keep shooting threes when we’re 0-of-16,” lead assistant coach Chris Gavina relayed.
“At some point as a player, I have to do something else if I’m not hitting jump shots. You gotta figure that out. We’re telling them go to the basket and look for opportunities to drive and kick and get to the foul line.”
Mahindra ended up attempting 30 triples in the game (7.5 attempts more than their average) — making just three — and getting to the stripe a grand total of just 13 times — 10 attempts shy of their norms.
And the game was too ugly to finish for Pacquiao, who left the venue halfway through the final frame.
“I think he already left even before the game ended,” Gavina recalled.
“Who wouldn’t be disappointed after this performance? We didn’t even give ourselves a fighting chance tonight.”
And with just four games to go on their slate, the margin of error for Mahindra is slim. Gavina is hoping that the disgust shown by their boss should serve as an eye-opener for them.
“If we go out like this again on Sunday, the results might be ugly. I hope these guys are challenged. I’m not the giving up type and I’ll play with six guys if I have to as long as they show me they’re willing to fight,” Gavina stressed.