MARK Borboran was told to be ready in Phoenix’s game against league-leading Mahindra.
He took everything to heart.
The journeyman forward scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter to play a key role in the Fuel Masters’ 100-94 comeback win over the Enforcer on a rainy Friday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
None of those points were more important than the those he had in the final 1:51 of the tight ballgame when Borboran completed a rare four-point play on a flagrant foul 1 committed by Aldrech Ramos that put the Fuel Masters on top for good, 93-90.
James White just gave Mahindra a 90-89 lead when Borboran came through with his heroics as the Fuel Masters booked their second straight win (2-3) and dealt the Enforcer their first loss in the season-ending conference.
“Mark played a hell of a game. Hindi ko siya ginamit the last time, but I told him ready ka lang. Baka ito na yung chance mo dahil mahahaba sila KG (Canaleta), mahahaba yung mga wings nila,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.
“He stepped up today and made those big shots.”
The soft-spoken Borboran, who played for University of the East in college, was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field including 2 of 2 from three-point range. He also added three rebounds and a steal in 15 minutes of play in his best game as a Fuel Master since being acquired in a trade just before the season’s final conference.
Despite the little time to get acquainted with his fourth team in nine years, the 31-year-old native of Malinao, Albay said he has managed to adjust under coach Vanguardia’s system.
“Nakapapag-adjust na rin ako. Maayos naman yung sistema niya basta sa practice gusto niya lang magawa yung mga pinagagawa niya,” said the Phoenix forward, who was acquired in a trade along with rookie Simon Enciso from NLEX in exchange for Mac Baracael, Eman Monfort, and 2018 second round pick.
“Siyempre sa umpisa mahirap talaga. Nasanay ka na sa isang team, yung bonding ninyo. Tapos paglipat mo, siyempre panibago na namang pakikisama,” he said.
But the way he played against Mahindra, he’s more than welcome in the Phoenix franchise.