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Mahindra topples NLEX in showdown between eliminated squads

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Mahindra bucked the loss of rookie center Russel Escoto and romped NLEX, 106-96, in a PBA Philippine Cup meeting between also-ran squads at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday night.

The Floodbusters pulled away for good from the Road Warriors by going on a 22-4 run to take a 99-85 lead that they held until the end.

Alex Mallari came close to a triple-double by tallying 30 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists with three steals, while Reden Celda added 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, and four steals for Mahindra, which moved up to 3-7.

Escoto already chipped in 12 points before a left knee injury derailed what had been a great first half for him.

Eric Camson led NLEX, which slipped to the bottom at 2-8, with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

The scores:

Mahindra 106-Mallari 30, Celda 18, Escoto 12, Galanza 11, Apinan 10, Revilla 9, Deutchman 6, Ballesteros 5, Paniamogan 3, Eriobu 2, Yee 0, Elorde 0, Teng 0, Salva 0

NLEX 96-Camson 17, Guinto 13, Baracael 10, Khobuntin 9, Lastimosa 9, Alas 8, Rios 6, J. Villanueva 6, Monfort 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 4, Soyud 2, Gotladera 2, E. Villanueva 1

Quarterscores: 22-27, 57-49, 77-77, 106-96

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno