The Mahindra Enforcers showed that they are a force to reckon with by ending the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters’ six-game winning streak with a 107-104 victory on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Nino “KG” Canaleta, LA Revilla and the 6’9 import James White joined forces to foil Talk ‘N Text’s fourth quarter assault. The Enforcers are now solo second place with a 6-2 win-loss record.
“It was nerve wracking game,” Mahindra deputy coach Chris Gavina told reporters during the postgame news conference. “I would really like to commend Talk ‘N Text. (Jayson) Castro is definitely the best point guard in Asia.”
White finished with 24 points highlighted by a perfect 10-of-10 in the free throw line in addition to 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Swingman Paolo Taha had 15 points also for the Enforcers.
“I told them before this game that it would take nothing less than a championship effort for us to come out victorious tonight,” he added. “Definitely, it is new ground for us and we’re happy that we made franchise history of reaching six wins.”
Canaleta posted 13 points, Revilla 12 points and Mike DiGregorio 11 points. Rookie Bradwyn Guinto contributed nine points and eight rebounds while Hyram Bagatsing had eight points also for Mahindra.
Talk ‘N Text initially enjoyed a slim 23-19 lead in the first period but Mahindra, through a 10-0 run highlighted by the baskets of Taha and DiGregorio seized the advantage, 51-44, heading into the halftime break.
The Tropang Texters’ 11-3 assault capped by Jayson Castro’s three-pointer tied the score to 64-all in the third period. The Enforcers responded with aggressive scoring inside the paint and got some fouls resulting in free throws late in that period.
Talk ‘N Text was three-point away, 87-90, through the free throws of Ranidel De Ocampo, Fonacier and Castro but Mahindra’s Canaleta and Revilla scored a three-pointer each to extend the Enforcers’ lead to 96-87 with only 5:56 left in the game.
Mahindra stretched its advantage to nine points, 101-92, after White’s slam dunk with just three minutes to go. They were never threatened from that point onward.
Despite the loss, Talk ‘N Text remained on top of the standings with a 6-1 win-loss record.
Castro led Talk ‘N Text with 33 points, five assists and four steals, while import Mychal Lamar Ammons finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks.
The Texters’ import Michael Madanly scored a measly two points, which is a far cry from his 30-point output during their previous win against Phoenix Petroleum.