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New name, new hope for Kia

MANILA, Philippines - It used to be called Kia Sorento, Kia Carnival, Mahindra Enforcer and Mahindra Floodbuster and starting in the PBA Governors Cup set to open July 19, the Columbian Autocar Corp. team will be known as Kia Picanto. The name change won’t be the only thing new with the franchise.

Coaching consultant Joe Lipa will now be more actively involved in calling the shots for Kia on the bench alongside head assistant coach Chris Gavina. Lipa previously sat behind the bench or somewhere in the stands. Sen. Manny Pacquiao remains the official head coach, confirmed PBA alternate governor and team head of basketball operations Bobby Rosales yesterday.

Another change is Kia’s import. Brandon Beasley was initially brought in as the Picanto’s reinforcement but after four days of practice, got the pink slip. “Beasley was listed 6-5 but was actually shorter,” said Rosales. “The coaching staff found him too small. We wanted an import to provide inside presence, someone who can rebound and play interior defense.” Besides, Beasley had no solid credentials and never played Division I basketball, suiting up only a year for NAIA school William Penn. In Beasley’s place arrived Chane Behanan who played in back-to-back NCAA Final Fours with the University of Louisville. The import ceiling for the Governors Cup is 6-5.

Behanan, 24, touched down last Friday and appears to be a fit for Kia’s requirements. Former NBA guard John Lucas once described Behanan as “an undersized power forward and a Larry Johnson clone.” Johnson, a 6-6 forward, was a 10-year NBA body-banging veteran who was known for his rugged style. Behanan averaged 23.3 points and 14.4 rebounds as a senior at Bowling Green High then saw action for Louisville varsity coach Rick Pitino. He was on the Louisville squad that won the NCAA crown in 2012, the Cardinals first title since 1986.

Rosales said Kia’s immediate priority is to make it to the playoffs in the third conference, something the team failed to do in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup this season. “A lot will depend on our import and we’re hoping Chane delivers,” he said. Kia’s lineup for the Governors Cup lists skipper L. A. Revilla, Reden Celda, Glenn Khobuntin, Eric Camson, Nico Salva, Mark Yee, Jason Deutchman, Jason Ballesteros, Jeric Teng, Bong Galanza, Prince Caperal, Rene Pacquiao, Jackson Corpuz, Josan Nimes and Philip Paniamogan. Nico Elorde and Rey Guevarra will be on the reserve list while veterans Gary David and Ryan Arana will no longer be in the official cast.

Kia Picanto is a compact, five-door hatchback city car that has been described by UK auto reviewers as “well-made, well-equipped, practical and affordable.”

Source: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/07/12/1718841/new-name-new-hope-kia

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