MAHINDRA couldn’t have picked a better a better time to arrest its slide as it stunned Alaska, 102-94, to get back on track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Enforcers found holes in the Aces’ usually impenetrable defense and turned to the hot shooting of Aldrech Ramos down the stretch to score the upset victory that snapped a three-game skid
The Enforcers moved to .500 with a 4-4 win-loss record, while the Aces absorbed a second straight setback that dropped them to 5-3 and allowed Ginebra to gain a share of third spot.
“It’s a very important game for us,” Enforcers coach Chito Victolero said. “We needed to bounce back, kasi yung standings dikit-dikit. We needed to have that sense of urgency.”
Ramos capped seven unanswered points with a jumper before burying back-to-back triples in the last four minutes that highlighted his 16-point effort in the final frame.
The stretch forward and former Gilas Pilipinas pool member finished with 25 points in 25 minutes off the bench – all in the second half.
Nino Canaleta caught fire early with four triples to finish with 17 points.
The Aces seemed to coast throughout the game and turned serious only early in the payoff period where they embarked on a run that saw them pull to within two points, 82-80, after a three-point play by Calvin Abueva, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the payoff period.
But the Enforcers banked on that 7-0 run capped by Ramos that proved enough separation to weather another late Aces’ stand.
Shane Edwards led the Aces with 24 points and 13 boards in a losing effort.
MAHINDRA 102 – Ramos 25, Canaleta 17, Gilchrist 16, Dehesa 14, Revilla 10, Bagatsing 5, Ballesteros 5, Pinto 5, Guinto 3, De Vera 2, Yee 0, Jaime 0, Digregorio 0
ALASKA 94 – Edwards 24, Abueva 15, Manuel 12, Banchero 10, Jazul 10, Thoss 7, Baguio 6, Hontiveros 6, Dela Rosa 4, Eximiniano 0, Racal 0, Menk 0
Quarterscores: 16-16; 43-39; 76-65; 102-94