Rain or Shine appoints Gavina as new head coach

Published March 1, 2021, 11:51 AM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Rain or Shine has started making big moves ahead of the 46th PBA season. 

The Elasto Painters on Monday, March 1, promoted assistant mentor Chris Gavina to the head coaching post while Caloy Garcia was appointed as the team’s active consultant. 

Gavina, 42, replaced longtime chief mentor Garcia as RoS went on a reshuffle prior to the next season which is projected to start on April 9. 

Garcia’s position in the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff played a big part in the decision to move the 45-year-old tactician to the consultant role.

The Raymond Yu and Terry Que-owned franchise also tapped its former star forward Rob Wainwright, who played for the team from 2006 to 2009, as assistant coach. 
“We are excited to announce the appointment of Chris Gavina as Rain or Shine’s Head Coach. He brings with him several years of experience as a coach in both the PBA and MPBL,” the team said in a statement posted on its social media accounts. 

Gavina began his PBA coaching career in 2016 as lead deputy of player-head coach Manny Pacquiao in Mahindra (now Terrafirma), although it was the former who was actively calling the shots for the Enforcers. 

He steered Mahindra to the 2016 Governors’ Cup quarterfinals–the franchise’s first and only playoff appearance to date–and got appointed as the chief tactician at the start of the 2017-2018 season. Gavina, however, resigned just two days later. 

Gavina was then named as head coach of the Valenzuela Classic in the MPBL in 2018 and made his PBA return when he got hired as Garcia’s assistant later that year. 

Starting in 2019, Gavina was juggling his duties as RoS deputy and head coach of the Bacoor Strikers. 

With Gavina now at the helm, the Elasto Painters are eyeing to win their first championship since ruling the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup when they took down the Alaska Aces, 4-2, in the finals. 

In the Philippine Cup bubble held last year in Clark, Pampanga, RoS settled for a quarterfinal finish after getting eliminated by top seed and eventual champion Barangay Ginebra.