Mahindra back on winning track after tackling Meralco

Kyle Pascual nearly had a double-double for Mahindra. PBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Mahindra turned things around late in the fourth quarter and turned back Meralco, 86-83, in a battle of struggling PBA Philippine Cup teams at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

The Enforcers fell behind, 58-64, after the third quarter, but triples from Karl Dehesa and Aldrech Ramos tied the game early in the fourth.

Jimmy Alapag and Rabeh Al-Hussaini appeared to have restored some control for the Bolts as they connected on respective field goals, but L.A Revilla and John Pinto scored on their own shots and the Enforcers took the lead, 69-68.

Free throws from Gary David and Baser Amer sparked an 8-3 mini-run by Meralco to open a 76-72 cushion with 3:34 to go.

But Mahindra scored the game's next ten points to take the lead, 82-76, with 1:24 left in the game.

Cliff Hodge scored on a quick basket to cut the lead to four with 1:12 remaining, but Mark Yee responded with a field goal of his own in the ensuing possession.

Simon Atkins then made another shot to once again trim the lead to four, but Revilla's charities once again opened the six-point gap, 86-80, with 18.8 seconds to go.

Jimmy Alapag kept things interesting with a trey with 8.9 ticks left that cut the Bolts' deficit to three, 83-86, and Chris Newsome picked Ramos' pass intended for Yee and called timeout with 2.2 seconds to go.

In the final play, however, Revilla blocked Alapag's potential equalizer from downtown to seal the Enforcers' second victory of the tournament.

Ramos finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while Yee added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Mahindra, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

David led Meralco with 18 markers, one board, and two dimes, while Hodge contributed 14 points and 20 caroms, two assists, and a block.

Box Scores:

Mahindra 86-Ramos 15, Yee 14, Revilla 12, Pascual 12, Pinto 10, Canaleta 8, Guinto 5, Laure 5, Dehesa 3, Hubalde 2, Bagatsing 0

Meralco 83-David 18, Al-Hussaini 15, Hodge 14, Amer 10, Alapag 10, Buenafe 6, Newsome 4, Atkins 4, Nabong 2, Dillinger 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0

Quarterscores: 16-12, 35-38, 58-64, 86-83

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