“I told my guys to have championship-effort for tonight.”
These were the uttered words of Chris Gavina to explain how his Mahindra Enforcers pulled off a win against the then-undefeated TNT Katropa, 107-104, Friday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Showing that their blazing start to the season was no fluke, the Enforcers snapped TNT’s six-game winning run to the Governor’s Cup. Moreover, this win is sufficient enough to propel the squad to a playoff appearance, a first in franchise history.
“It’s a new ground for us and we’re happy we made franchise history. We’re definitely heading in the right direction, but we try to stay level-headed as possible and stay consistent in what we do,” Gavina added.
James White led the offense for Mahindra, scoring 24 points, ten rebounds, three blocks and a perfect 10-for-10 clip from the foul stripe. At the end of the game, he commended his team for coming up with the win and outplaying a powerhouse TNT squad.
“I just wanna thank God for this. We understand that TNT is a great team, we just executed better,” White stressed.
Mahindra took control for majority of the game after trailing behind for almost the entire first period. Free throws played a key role, as the Enforcers trooped to the line 43 times and made 35 for an 81 percent clip. On the other hand, TNT shot a 66 percent mark at 22/33.
In addition, their defense forced Katropa to 23 miscues, which were converted to 24 points on Mahindra’s end. They also shrugged off a massive 33-point effort from Jayson Castro in a seemingly spotless performance offensively.
The Mahindra Enforcers (6-2) are now holders of the solo second spot in the tight standings, and will next face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (3-3) next Friday at Araneta. On the other hand, TNT (6-1) looks to get back on their winning ways, as they book a showdown with the uprising GlobalPort Batang Pier (2-4) on Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.
Mahindra (107) – White 24, Taha 15, Canaleta 13, Digregorio 11, Guinto 9, Bagatsing 8, Ramos 4, Agovida 4, Jamie 4, Yee 3, Elorde 0, Ballesteros 0.
TNT (104) – Castro 33, Ammons 20, Fonacier 13, Rosario 11, De Ocampo 9, Rosales 5, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Tautuaa 3, Madanly 2, Carey 1, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19, 44-51, 72-78, 107-104.
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