MPBL

Baltazar sparkles as Pampanga routs Valenzuela

June 20, 2024 People's Tonight 236 views

JUSTINE Baltazar posted a triple-double as the Pampanga Giant Lanterns clobbered the Valenzuela Classics, 85-56, and extended their hot streak in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Showing why he’s the reigning MPBL MVP, Baltazar scored 12 points, snagged 17 rebounds and handed 10 assists in leading the Giant Lanterns to their 12th straight win after an initial loss in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

Encho Serrano and Rence Alcoriza pushed Pampanga ahead, 23-13, after the first quarter and the Giant Lanterns never wavered to tally the wire-to-wire victory that put the defending champions right behind the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards and the Quezon Huskers, both with 11-0 slates.

Other Giant Lanterns who shine were Jeff Viernes with 13 points and 4 rebounds, Jhaymo Eguilos with 11 points and 9 rebounds, Archie Concepcion with 10 points like Serrano and Alcoriza, and Kurt Reyson with 8 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.

Without the injured Dennis Santos, the Classics were overpowered off the boards, 31-56, and were outscored inside the paint, 18-48, by the Giant Lanterns.

Valenzuela tumbled to 7-7 as only Fil-Am CJ Payawal and the returning Paolo Hubalde struck back with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Payawal added 5 rebounds while Hubalde also notched 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

In earlier games, Quezon City TODA Aksyon trounced Pasay, 70-60, and Davao Occidental nip Negros, 67-64.

With Rhinwill Yabing at the helm, Quezon City pulled away, 33-18, midway through the second quarter and then thwarted Pasay’s repeated assaults to climb to 6-7.

Yambing finished with 15 points plus 4 rebounds and was supported by Jonathan Gesalem with 11 points plus 2 steals, and Chino Mosqueda with 10 points plus 4 rebounds.

Pasay, which tumbled to 7-6, got 14 points from Laurenz Victoria, 12 points plus 9 rebounds from Warren Bonifacio, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals from Patrick Sleat, and 10 points plus 6 rebounds from AJ Coronel.

Unlike the Giant Lanterns and the Capitals, the Davao Occidental Tigers went through a tight fight with the Negros Muscovados.

Overtaken by the Muscovados following a 9-point run, 62-62, the Tigers banked on Jun Manzo to snap a two-game skid and improved to 9-4.

Manzo drove in to give Davao back the lead, and after Negros’ James Paul Una tied the count at 64, Dariel Bayla split his two charities and Manzo decided the outcome with two more free throws in the last 19.5 seconds.

Negros had a chance to force overtime, but Hubert Cani missed the probable game-extender with 6.3 seconds left.

Arth Dela Cruz led the Tigers with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, followed by veteran Kelly Nabong with 9 points and 9 rebounds.

Kenneth Ighalo and Biboy Enguio contributed 8 points each for Davao Coach Manu Inigo.

Negros, which tasted its fifth straight defeat and tumbled to 4-10, drew 27 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals from Renz Palma and 11 points plus 14 rebounds from debuting recruit Buenaventura Raflores Jr.

The scores:

First game

Davao (67) — Dela Cruz 12, Nabong 9, Ighalo 8, Manzo 8, Enguio 8, Lojera 7, Bayla 5, Lalata 2, Tumalip 2, Custodio 2, Arana 2, Andrada 2, Campo 0, Salubre 0, Koga 0.
Negros (64) — Palma 27, Raflores 11, Una 8, Gabriel 6, Cani 4, Cruz 4, Longa 2, Atabay 2, Geolingo 0, Lorenzo 0, Formento 0, Alcaide 0, Ramos 0, Capobres 0, Peralta 0.
Quarterscores: 16-18, 32-32, 52-48, 67-64

Second game

Quezon City (70)– Yambing 15, Gesalem 11, Mosqueda 10, Desoyo 8, Bienes 8, Ballesteros 7, Roman 5, Cosari 3, Tibayan 3, M.Are 0, Nimes 0, Lo 0, R.Are 0, Cauilan 0.
Pasay (60) – Victoria 14, Bonifacio 12, Sleat 12, Coronel 10, Inigo 6, Salenga 2, Reverente 2, Tabi 2, Sobrevega 0, Sienes 0, Aguirre 0, Chan 0, Ramirez 0, Hilario 0, Lustina 0.
Quarterscores: 23-11, 40-34, 52-49, 70-60.

Third game

Pampanga (85) — Viernes 13, Baltazar 12, Eguilos 11, Comception 10, Alcoriza 10, Serrano 10, Reyson 8, Santos 5, Flores 4, Garcia 2, Corteza 0, Gozum 0, De Leon 0, Binuya 0, Liwag 0.
Valenzuela (56) — Payawal 17, Hubalde 15, Montuano 7, De Chavez 6, Macion 5, Manliguez 2, Armenion 2, Dela Cruz 2, Mohammad 0, Martin 0, Rivera 0, Lepalam 0, Santos 0, Quinahan 0, Diego 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 41-26, 61-41, 85-56.

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