Chris Gavina steps down as KIA Picanto head coach

ByAllan Lim

PBA Media Bureau

Just two games into the PBA’s 43rd season, KIA Picanto head coach Chris Gavina has called it quits.

KIA team manager Joe Lipa confirmed this development. “We want to thank coach Chris for all the things he has done for the team. He’ll always have my utmost respect,” said Lipa.

The Picanto opened the 2018 Philippine Cup with back to back losses, the latest being a 23-point beating from the hands of the Phoenix Fuel Masters. The team has now lost 14 straight games, including all 11 games in the 2017 Governors’ Cup.

Gavina led Picanto to its best finish in franchise history, a quarterfinals berth against Meralco in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

In five conferences as the team’s coach, four in acting capacity in lieu of Manny Pacquiao, the 38-year old alumnus of Stevens Institute of Technology compiled a 12-34 win-loss record.

Lead deputy Ricky Dandan will assume the post vacated by Gavina with former pros Art dela Cruz and Johnedel Cardel serving as assistants.

The coaching rigodon comes at the heels of reports that a certain percentage of Columbia Autocar Corporation, the owner of KIA’s PBA franchise, is about to be purchased by Dennis Uy, owner of Phoenix Petroleum. Negotiations however are currently at a stalemate.

KIA resumes practice on January 2, 2018.