Mahindra runs through NLEX behind Mallari's career high

Paul Lintag on Jan 27, 2017 06:56 PM
Mahindra runs through NLEX behind Mallari's career high
Mallari scored a career-high 30 points for Mahindra while also grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists in the process.

Playing not to finish last basically, Mahindra used a brilliant all-around effort from Alex Mallari to turn back NLEX in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Friday.

Acquired in the offseason via trade, Mallari finished with a near triple-double in the Floodbuster's 106-96 victory against the Road Warriors at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Mallari scored a career-high 30 points for Mahindra while also grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists in the process.

Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Floodbuster were able to arrest a two-game slide and improved to 3-7 for the season-opening conference. However, the win came at a huge cost as Mahindra lost Gilas cadet Russel Escoto to a left knee injury late in the first half.

Escoto appears to have suffered from a minor lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury in his surgically-repaired knee. He previously tore his ACL four years ago in a PBA D-League match.

"I told them to dedicate this game for Russel. I'm praying that his injury is not that severe and it's something that he can bounce back from. His growth has really been tremendous for us," top deputy Chris Gavina, who celebrated his 38th birthday today, said.

Prior to going down with 23 seconds to go in the first half, Escoto has put together quite a game and went on to finish with 12 points in 12 minutes.

With Escoto out, the Road Warriors were able to make it a game in the second half, tying the count at 77-all heading into the fourth period.

That's when Mallari, together with rookie Reden Celda, took control for the Floodbuster and outscored NLEX in the last 12 minutes on their own, 20-19.

Celda wound up with 18 points, nine in the payoff period.

The Road Warriors, who have now lost three in a row, got 17 from Eric Camson.

NLEX remains at the cellar of the All-Filipino with a 2-8 mark.

 

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.

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


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