PBA: Mahindra gets solo second after dropping NLEX
Mahindra took solo second place in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup after slipping past NLEX, 106-99, Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, tying the franchise’s best-ever start.
Augustus Gilchrist showed the way for the Enforcers, finishing with 30 points on a 12-of-22 shooting from the field that went with 10 rebounds.
Nino Canaleta also fired eight of his 21 markers in the payoff period, while Chito Jaime had 15 points. Mike DiGregorio added 13 markers, Aldrech Ramos got 12 points, and LA Revilla wound up with 10.
The Enforcers are now at 3-1, with a half a game lead over GlobalPort.
“It’s a very crucial game for us, but sinabi ko lang sa kanila is we have to play 48 minutes of consistent basketball,” said Mahindra deputy Chito Victolero, as his squad improved to 3-1. “I know NLEX is a second half team. They will play very hard in the second half so I wanted our players to play consistent basketball for 48 minutes.”
NLEX seemed to have finally solved its woes after Simon Enciso drilled three straight treys to give his squad an 88-85 lead midway in the fourth.
But Gilchrist, Canaleta, and Ramos all did their part in snatching away the lead for Mahindra. Revilla sealed the win by beating his defenders on two consecutive possessions for a 100-93 lead with 42.7 left in the clock.
“We stayed composed, we stopped their runs, and kami naman ang nag-run,” said Victolero. “Medyo naging mature na rin yung players. They know how to win, they know how to close games, mas focused, mas agresibo, at mas may gusto silang patunayan.”
Al Thornton topped the Road Warriors (2-2) with 29 points and nine rebounds, while Sean Anthony contributed
18 markers and nine boards.
The loss also spoiled a career night for Asi Taulava, who collected his 6,000th career rebound in the fourth quarter. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
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, J. Villanueva 15, Taulava 10, Enciso 9, Alas 8, Lanete 5, Borboran 3, Khobuntin 2, Reyes 0, E. Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 27-20, 48-45, 74-70, 106-99.