JAMES White stuck to what he does best and found success this time as he led Mahindra to its first win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup - an 89-81 victory over NLEX on Friday night.
Criticized by coach Chris Gavina after settling for a long jumper in their last play in regulation in a four-point overtime loss to Rain or Shine last Sunday, the Floodbuster import, who stands a shade below 6-9, made a conscious effort to take it closer to the rim against the Road Warriors.
The returning import finished with 30 points on a solid 12-of-18 shooting clip, on top of 23 boards, two assists, and one block against seven turnovers in 39 minutes.
Asked if he was motivated by his miss in that last play in regulation against the E-Painters that could’ve won the game for the Floodbuster in regulation, White said he already put the loss behind him.
“That's last game, this is a new game. I'm not worried about that,” White said. “Right now the outcome is we got a win so I'm not worried about that other game.”
“I’m focused on the next game ahead of us,” he added. “I’m just having fun.”
[See James White delivers double-double as Mahindra extends NLEX misery]
That White finally took advatange of his size delighted Gavina.
“I think we did a great job of really going to our strengths, finding mismatches,” Gavina said. “We were trying to get James in his high-percentage areas tonight.”
White was simply eager to steer the Floodbuster in stopping a two-game skid.
“Every game that we play, I want that win but it's always good to get that first one of the season,” White said. “We know the confidence of winning so it's always good to get that win under your belt.”
“We just have to go to practice day by day, we're not going to look towards the future, we’re going to work about right now,” he added. “Go to practice and get prepared for the next opponent.”