Mahindra, in a franchise-record start under new coach Chris Gavina, hopes to keep its unblemished record going into the All-Star break, seeking victory No. 4 versus Alaska Milk in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
The Enforcers’ spirit is at an all-time high, soaring on their swashbuckling 3-0 start in the season-ending tourney with victories over the Star Hotshots (100-92 in overtime), the Globalport Batang Pier (108-98) and the San Miguel Beermen (105-103).
The consensus among all the teams is that Mahindra can no longer be taken lightly.
“They’re for real,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
One more win and the Enforcers will already match the total number of wins they racked up in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs, that would be a first for our franchise,” said Gavina.
The Aces are off to a shaky 1-2 start and they hope to bounce back from a tough loss to the TNT Ka Tropa Texters to gain a .500 mark before the tourney takes a brief break to give way to the 2016 PBA All-Star Weekend.
Alaska could have been at 3-0 as the Aces barely lost their to the Meralco Bolts and the Texters. A big boost was a 109-100 triumph in overtime over the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
James White and his teammates could well be another tough test for the Aces, second placers in four of the last five PBA conferences.
White has been super steady in his maiden PBA journey, averaging 28.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 blocks.
Among the Mahindra locals responding well to their new coach are Aldrech Ramos, Nino Canaleta, Paolo Taha, LA Revilla and Keith Agovida. Iranian reinforcement Iman Mashaddy has also been of help.
For Alaska, LaDontae Henton paces the pack with 32.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
Former Gilas reserve RJ Jazul has emerged as the leading Alaska local scorer with 15.3 points a game. Chris Banchero (15.0), Calvin Abueva (12.0) and Dondon Hontiveros (10.3) are the others averaging in double figures.
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