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Gavina steers Enforcer to share of lead with Meralco.
The Mahindra Enforcer are off to the best start in their young participation in the professional ranks – thanks to the guidance of a neophyte assistant coach and the dominant effort of their 22-year-old import.
James White collected 28 points and 20 rebounds as the Enforcer won again under new lead assistant coach Chris Gavina after beating the shorthanded Globalport Batang Pier, 108-98, last night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aldrech Ramos scored half of his 16 points in the final quarter to backstop White, the youngest among the current batch of imports playing this conference, in securing their second win to tie idle Meralco for the early lead.
Mahindra came through with crucial defensive stops even as its offense clicked down the stretch to post its first 2-0 start in a conference since entering the league last season.
It has been a surprising start for Gavina, who was elevated to role of lead assistant and interim head coach whenever designated player-mentor Manny Pacquiao is out to focus on his other endeavors – as pro boxer and now as a senator.
But Gavina refused to take all the credit to himself, saying that his players should be the ones getting the praises for Mahindra’s hot start.
“I want to deflect all the effort to my guys,” said Gavina. “We withstood a very strong Globalport team. Globalport’s thin right now, they have a lot on their injured list.”
“We played with great heart today, the coaching staff was instrumental in the development of our team. Our culture is just to stay humble, stay hungry and be consistent in what we do,” added Gavina.
Globalport dropped to 0-2 as it played minus star guard Terrence Romeo due to a stomach flu. Batang Pier representative to the PBA Board of Governors Erick Arejola is hopeful that Romeo would make a quick recovery.
MAHINDRA 108 – White 28, Ramos 16, Revilla 11, Taha 10, Agovida 8, Pinto 8, Canaleta 7, Zandi 7, Guinto 5, Aguilar 2, Bagatsing 2, Ballesteros 2, Yee 2, Digregorio 0, Elorde 0, Jaime 0.
GLOBALPORT 98 – Sutton 34, Pringle 19, Dehesa 13, Fortuna 9, Semerad 9, Banal 6, Isip 3, Kramer 2, Mamaril 2, Taha 1, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 20-20; 45-43; 70-69; 108-98.