MAHINDRA sustained its emergence in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 106-99 decision of NLEX on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to match its best start in its young history in the league.
LA Revilla hit the biggest baskets down the stretch, while Niño Canaleta and Aldrech tormented their former team once again as the Enforcers notched a third win in four outings to gain a provisional hold of second spot.
Augustus Gilchrist anchored Mahindra anew with 30 points and 10 boards, while Chito Jaime delivered a double-double with career-highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Road Warriors, behind Simon Encisio, waxed hot in the second half, but cooled off down the stretch to fall to an even 2-2 win-loss record.
“We expected the runs as NLEX always plays well in the second half, but we stay composed,” Enforcers coach Chito Victolero said. “It was all about forty-eight minutes of consistent basketball.”
Revilla finished with just 10 points, but the pint-sized playmaker stood tall at crunch time by scoring four straight, including a floater with 42.3 seconds left that gave the Enforcers a 100-93 lead, enough cushion to prevail.
Canaleta pumped in 21 points and seven rebounds, while Ramos chipped in 12 points and 10 boards in a balanced effort that saw six Enforcers score in twin digits.
Enciso buried three successive three-pointers in a one-man run that turned a four-point deficit into a three-point lead at 88-85, but the Enforcers retaliated with their own baskets to regain the upper hand.
Al Thornton paced NLEX with 29 points and nine boards, while Sean Anthony added 18 markers and nine caroms in a losing effort.
MAHINDRA 106 – Gilchrist 30, Canaleta 21, Jaime 15, Digregorio 13, Ramos 12, Revilla 10, Dehesa 5, Guinto 0, Hubalde 0, Pinto 0, Yee 0
NLEX 99 – Thornton 29, Anthony 18, Villanueva J. 15, Taulava 10, Enciso 9, Alas 8, Lanete 5, Borboran 3, Khobuntin 2, Reyes 0, Villanueva E. 0
Quarterscores: 27-20, 48-45, 74-70, 106-99