Brave Mahindra claims GlobalPort scalp for best start in franchise history
Aldrech Ramos defies three GlobalPort defenders in a drive to the basket. Jaime Campos

MAHINDRA continued to turn doubters into believers as it frustrated undermanned GlobalPort, 108-98, to gain a share of the early lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Enforcers broke loose from a tight game by scoring 12 unanswered points inside the last three minutes to take the fight out of the Batang Pier, who missed star guard Terrence Romeo due to a stomach flu.

James White put up a stellar showing with 28 points and 20 boards on top of four blocks, two steals, and two assists to anchor the Enforcers, who notched a second straight victory for their best start in their young history and join Meralco at the top of the leaderboard.

The Batang Pier, on the other hand, remained winless after two starts.

“I deflect all our efforts toward our guys. They withstood a strong Globalport team,” Enforcers rookie coach Chris Gavina said. “Our guys just wanted it more.”

Aldrech Ramos shone brightest among locals with 16 points, while six others scored at least seven points each for the Enforcers.

The Enforcers protected a precarious 94-92 lead with a little over three minutes to go, before they banked on that telling run that White sparked with a gliding layup and punctuated with two free throws.

Mahindra already led by nine points, 61-52, with over four minutes left in the third, before GlobalPort finished the quarter on an 18-9 run to turn it into a see-saw affair in the payoff period.

Dominique Sutton led the Batang Pier with an all-around outing spiked by 24 points, 13 boards, seven assists, and four steals in 28 minutes that went for naught.

The scores:

MAHINDRA 108 – White 28, Ramos 16, Revilla 11, Taha 10, Agovida 8, Pinto 8, Canaleta 7, Zandi 7, Guinto 5, Aguilar 2, Bagatsing 2, Ballesteros 2, Yee 2, Digregorio 0, Elorde 0, Jaime 0

GLOBALPORT 98 – Sutton 34, Pringle 19, Dehesa 13, Fortuna 9, Semerad 9, Banal 6, Isip 3, Kramer 2, Mamaril 2, Taha 1, Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 20-20, 45-43, 70-69, 108-98 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos