Mahindra coasts past Blackwater, inches closer to first PBA playoff appearance
Mahindra import James White cuts loose for a one-handed dunk. Dante Peralta

MAHINDRA coasted to a 97-88 victory over Blackwater to get back on its surprising run in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Enforcer led from start to finish and showed the killer’s instinct lacking in their last two games as they rolled to their first win in three games – and five overall against two losses – to gain solo second spot behind unbeaten Tropang TNT.

James White showed the way with 23 points and 19 boards for the Enforcer, who also drew a significant boost from the returning LA Revilla and playing-coach Manny Pacquiao, who scored four points, including a three-pointer in the second quarter that rocked the sizeable crowd.

The Enforcer thus matched their most wins in a conference, which they achieved in the last season-ending tournament, to move closer to a first-ever postseason berth.

“We really just worked on focusing on what made us four-and-o and working on our mistakes,” Enforcer lead assistant coach Chris Gavina said as his team handed the Elite their sixth loss in seven games to fall to the bottom.

Aldrech Ramos and Paolo Taha were the locals who scored in twin digits as their timely baskets kept the Elite at bay.

Nino Canaleta threw down a slam dunk that gave the Enforcer their biggest lead at 97-79, enough cushion that gave that gave them the luxury to insert Pacquiao anew in the next deadball.

Carlo Lastimosa led the Elite with 17 points, while Eric Dawson, still nursing an injured back, added 15 points, 10 boards, five steals, and four assists in 36 minutes that went for naught.

 

The scores:

MAHINDRA 97 – White 23, Ramos 15, Taha 13, Canaleta 8, Digregorio 8, Elorde 6, Bagatsing 5, Agovida 4, Pacquiao 4, Yee 4, Ballesteros 1, Aguilar 0, Guinto 0, Revilla 0

BLAKCWATER 88 – Lastimosa 17, Dawson 15, Miranda 10, Pascual 10, Qawash 9, Dela Cruz 7, Melano 7, Sena 6, Cervantes 4, Canada 2, Gamalinda 1, Reyes 0, Sumang 0

Quarterscores: 18-14; 46-39; 74-63; 97-88

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