Mahindra improves to 3-1 after beating NLEX
MANILA, Philippines – The Mahindra Enforcers continued their impressive start to the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 106-99 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday, February 26, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Thanks to big shots down the stretch by the their key guys, the Enforcers have now tied their best start to a conference since entering the PBA in the 2014-2015 season.
NLEX, which was looking for its own 3-1 start, dropped to an even 2-2.
Mahindra import Augustus Gilchrist led his team in scoring with 30 points to go with 10 boards. KG Canaleta also played well with 25 points and 7 boards, while the starting Chito Jaime had 15 points and 11 boards.
Mike DiGregorio and Aldrech Ramos posted 13 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench, while LA Revilla had 10 points and 6 dimes.
Import Al Thornton spearheaded his team with 29 points and 9 rebounds, while Sean Anthony had 18 points in the loss.
“Very crucial game for us, but what I told them is we have to play 48 minutes of consistent basketball,” Enforcers coach Chito Victolero said post game.
“I know NLEX is a second-half team. They will play very hard in the second half. That’s why I [wanted] my players to play consistent basketball for 48 minutes,” the coach also said in Tagalog.
The game was still in the balance when Mahindra was ahead only by two, 93-91, as 3:20 remained on the clock.
With 3:03 left, Ramos drilled a big 3-ball from the right corner for some breathing room. After Asi Taulava, who recorded his 6000th career rebound on Friday, split a visit to the foul line, Revilla hit a big shot to make it a 98-92 game as 2:14 remained.
Anthony then split his own visit to the foul stripe. On the next Enforcers play, Revilla missed a 3-pointer, but a Canaleta offensive board opened the door for Revilla to make a basket that put his team up 7 and sealed the win.
“We stayed composed. We stopped the runs, and we went on a run,” Victolero said post-game. It was in last season’s Governors’ Cup when the franchise last started 3-1.
Mahindra is back in action on Wednesday, March 2, when it faces Barangay Ginebra, while NLEX will aim to bounce back on Friday, March 4, against Rain or Shine.
Mahindra (106): Gilchrist 30, Canaleta 21, Jaime 15, Digregorio 13, Ramos 12, Revilla 10, Dehesa 5, Guinto 0, Yee 0, Pinto 0, Hubalde 0
NLEX (99): Thornton 29, Anthony 18, J. Villanueva 15, Taulava 10, Enciso 9, Alas 8, Lanete 5, Borboran 3, Khobuntin 2, E. Villanueva 0, Reyes 0
Quarter scores: 27-20; 48-45; 74-70; 106-99 – Rappler.com