Khobuntin, Camson make immediate impact as Mahindra frustrates Blackwater
Renen Celda delivered in the clutch for Blackwater. Jaime Campos

MAHINDRA showed it didn’t get the short end of the stick in its recent deal with NLEX as it frustrated Blackwater, 96-87, to keep its flat-lining hopes of making the playoffs alive in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night.

Glenn Khobuntin and Eric Camson, who the Floodbuster got from the Road Warriors in giving up star Alex Mallari, made an immediate impact in their debut to help the team snap a five-game losing streak.

Reden Celda and import Keith Wright also delivered for the Floodubster, who tied their victims with a 2-7 win-loss record.

“Great, amazing effort from our new guys, Glenn and Eric,” Mahindra coach Chris Gavina said of the duo, who only had three practices with their new team prior to the game.

“We felt the togethereness of these guys going into these guys was a high-value asset for us winning this game,” he added. “We just committed to each other.”

Khobuntin scored 15 points, the last on a left-wing three-pointer with a little over two minutes left that punctuated their surge in the fourth-quarter where the Floodbuster outscored the Elite, 28-17.

The sophomore forward added five boards, one assist, and one block off the bench, while Camson chipped nine points, three rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes.

Celda led the Floodubster with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, four boards, and four assists, while Wright added 16 points, 16 boards, and three blocks 37 minutes. Jackson Corpuz also contributed in the breakaway, scoring all but two of his eight points in the final frame.

The balanced effort negated the one-man show of Greg Smith, who registered 29 points, 25 boards, six assists, and one block in 43 minutes, although the Gilas naturalized player prospect sometimes looked to do too much when he insisted on bringing the ball down at times.


The scores:

MAHINDRA 96 – Celda 18, Wright 16, Khobuntin 15, Camson 9, Paniamogan 8, Corpuz 8, Caperal 6, Revilla 4, Ballesteros 4, Teng 3, Yee 3, Salva 2, Elorde 0

BLACKWATER 87 – Smith 29, Canaleta 11, Pascual 11, Digregorio 9, Cruz 9, Sena 7, Sumang 4, Gamalinda 4, Aguilar 2, Banal 1, Buenafe 0, Pinto 0

Quarterscores: 25-26, 48-48, 68-70, 96-87

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos