By: Elena Grace Flores
Now, it’s getting confusing with Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao’s news features with headlines announcing his return to the sports arena – but to the surprise of many this time it’s with the Philippine Basketball Association’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum by Smart. Just 3 minutes before playing time, Mahindra Enforcer fittingly came back from 16 points down and brought Alaska Aces into disbelied, 101-95, in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup recently.
The Enforcer had clean slate with a 4-0 record, having the capability now to defeat champion teams such as Alaska, San Miguel Beer, and the Star Hotshots, including semifinalist Globalport.
Cooach Chris Gavina was just happy with the team’s resiliency that night, despite the injury of starting guard LA Revilla, that made him unable to play. It was due to his broken nose.
Import James White was leading, scoring 14 of his 32 points in a huge 36-point fourth quarter for Mahindra. White, missed only two of his 15 field goals but had 15 rebounds, sparking their winning 13-2 kick off with only 2:39 time remaining. Aldrech Ramos added 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Niño Canaleta added 13 markers and 4 boards.
Coach Gavina gave the credit to his team players saying; rookie swingman Keith Agovida finished with 11 points. It was his stealing stints that led to White’s game-sealing run, then he followed up by assisting White’s ensuing 3-point play. Agovida in fact scored to tie the game before Michael Digregorio shoved the Enforcer ahead for good, 97-95 at 1:18 remaining. Agovida completed a breakaway layup that followed the the 4-point cushion with 43 seconds to go.
Mahindra was down only two points late in the first when Pacquiao checked in but with his presence the lead ballooned to 16 early in the second quarter. Mahindra then rallied in the second half, and then finished the game victoriously beating Alaska Aces.