The Mahindra Enforcers rose back from the dead, erasing a 16-point deficit to gut out a huge 101-95 come-from-behind upset win Alaska Aces and extend their unbeaten run to 4-0 in the PBA Governors Cup Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Mahindra welcomed back Manny Pacquiao but unheralded rookie Keith Avogida stole the show down the stretch with his heads up plays.
Down by 5 in the last 3 minutes, the Enforcers unleashed a 13-2 knockout blow.
Mahindra managed to steal the lead off a Mike DiGregorio jumper, 97-95, still 1:18 to go after being down, 93-88, but it was Avogida who put the finishing touches — a short stab that stretched their lead to 99-95 and an assist to James White’s fastbreak dunk.
Mahindra got a boost from playing coach Manny Pacquiao when he made an appearance in the first half, and a brief encounter against Calvin Abueva. While Pacquiao’s on-court presence didn’t help their game as they trailed by as much as 16, 34-50, and 39-54, entering the break, it was all worth it as they had the last laugh to remain unscathed in the season-ending conference.
Agovida finished with 11 points in 15 minutes while DiGregorio had an impactful 7 points, all coming in pivotal fourth quarter. White racked up double double of 32 points and 15 rebounds in another dominant show.
Alaska, on the other hand, suffered its second straight setback, despite getting Abueva back from a 1-game suspension.
LaDontae Henton registered 33 markers and collared 14 boards while Abueva was the lone Alaska local who finished in double figures with 21 points. – By John Bryan Ulanday