Import James White posted 24 points and 10 rebounds while Paolo Taha added 15 in a strong showing for Mahindra. Both players earned themselves 10 attempts from the free throw line with White making all of his and Taha going 7-for-10 from the stripe.
KG Canaleta added 13 markers, LA Revilla had 12 and Mike Digregorio chipped in with 11 for the Enforcer, which has surprised with their performance this conference.
Even with the loss, TNT remained on top of the standings with a 6-1 record although Mahindra is right behind them at 6-2, good for solo second place.
TNT’s Jayson Castro led the losing side with 33 points and five assists.
Mahindra made a late run in the second quarter to break what was a close game wide open.
Taha made a putback to kick off the run and Digregorio rattled off four straight points, first off two free throws and two more off a TNT turnovers. Taha added another a basket and White capped it with two more charities to make it a 10-0 run.
That gave the Enforcer a 51-41 lead although Ryan Reyes hit a triple for TNT to make it a seven-point game at the halftime break.
White posted 14 points and five rebounds to lead Mahindra in the first half while Taha and Bradwyn Guinto each had seven. Larry Fonacier led TNT with 11 markers.
TNT chipped away at that lead in the third, though. Castro hit a triple to spearhead an 11-3 run for the KaTropa, who tied the game at 64-apiece.
Castro scored 10 points in the period, pushing his output up to 17 heading into the fourth.
Mahindra still held the lead, though, 78-72, after getting a bunch of free throws late in the quarter.
Castro tried to bring TNT back in the fourth, placing Mahindra in the penalty by drawing a foul and hitting two free throws. He immediately followed that up with a steal and fastbreak finish before scoring again, this time off a ball screen from import Mychal Ammons.
Free throws from Ranidel De Ocampo and Fonacier brought the KaTropa back to as close as three, 90-87.
But Canaleta and Revilla hit two huge three-pointers to restore the lead to a more comfortable nine points, 96-87.
Despite some big plays from Ammons, Mahindra kept TNT at bay, especially after a nice alley-oop from Revilla to White, who slammed it down for a 101-92 lead.
TNT continued to battle but costly turnovers from Ammons, who dribbled the ball off his foot in transition, and Reyes, who threw the ball away twice on inbound passes, put an end to their comeback hopes.
PBA FINAL SCORE RESULT
MAHINDRA 107 – White 24, Taha 15, Canaleta 13, Revilla 12, Digregorio 11, Guinto 9, Bagatsing 8, Agovida 4, Jaime 4, Ramos 4, Yee 3, Ballesteros 0, Elorde 0.
TNT KATROPA 104 – Castro 33, Ammons 20, Fonacier 13, Rosario 11, De Ocampo 9, Rosales 5, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Tautuaa 3, Madanly 2, Carey 1, Rosser 0.
Quarters: 19-23, 51-44, 78-72, 107-104