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Mahindra romps Blackwater to arrest two-game skid


The Mahindra Enforcers are on the verge of making their first-ever playoffs appearance.

After a two-game skid, the Enforcers regrouped and vented their frustrations on the Blackwater Elite in a 97-88 win, Sunday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

James White, one this conference’s favorites to win the Best Import of the Conference plum, led the way with 23 points on an efficient 10-of-16 shooting from the field and grabbed 19 big boards. Paolo Taha came off the bench to add 13 markers on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the stripe.

“We really just worked on focusing on what made us 4-0. We worked on improving on our last two games’ mistakes,” assistant coach Chris Gavina remarked about the game.

A strong 7-0 start paved the way for the wire-to-wire win that saw senator and playing-coach Manny Pacquiao notch his personal-best in the league four points in six minutes of game time.

“Masaya naman kami sa team ngayon dahil ‘yung players nakikinig sa pinapagawa sa training, sa game so nagre-result ng maganda,” Pacquiao said.

The lead further ballooned in the final frame. Mahindra were able to gain a game-high 18-point lead in the final frame, 97-79, after a thunderous dunk by KG Canaleta with 2:25 remaining in the game.

The Elite have now lost five straight games.

Blackwater’s gunslinger Carlo Lastimosa once again led his team, scoring 17 markers. Reinforcement Eric Dawson added 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

The Enforcers (2nd, 5-2) next face the undefeated TNT KaTropa (6-0) on Friday, August 26, at 4:15pm. On the other hand, Blackwater (12th, 1-6) will have a week off before facing the Alaska Aces on Sunday, August 28, at 4:30pm. Both games will still be at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

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Mahindra (97) – White 23, Ramos 15, Taha 13, Canaleta 8, Digregorio 8, Elorde 6, Bagatsing 5, Agovida 4, Pacquiao 4, Yee 4, Ballesteros 1, Aguilar 0, Guinto 0, Revilla 0

Blackwater (88) – Lastimosa 17, Dawson 15, Miranda 10, Pascual 10, Qawash 9, Dela Cruz 7, Melano 7, Sena 6, Cervantes 4, Canada 2, Gamalinda 1, Reyes 0, Sumang 0

Quarterscores: 18-14; 46-39; 74-63; 97-88

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