Pampanga turns it on to end MPBL campaign on winning note
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 10, 2019 05:07 PM
Photo courtesy of MPBL
Playing their last home game-and their last match of the MPBL Datu Cup-the Pampanga Lanterns stayed tough on their way to scoring a tense 87-85 win over playoff bound Zamboanga at the Angeles University Foundation Arena last Saturday in Pampanga.
Juneric Baloria scored five of his team’s last six points in the last 38 seconds as he helped Pampanga in ending the season on a winning note.
Pampanga ended its elimination round campaign with an 11-14 record, the same record being held by the Caloocan Supremos.
But by virtue of the win over the other rule, the Supremos, who defeated the Lanterns in their only elimination round encounter, will get the eighth and last spot in the northern division of this tournament.
Baloria, a deadshot guard, made things possible for Pampanga’s win.
He knocked in a triple in the 38-second mark to push his team up, 84-82, but Baloria’s former college teammate, Harold Arboleda, responded with a trey of his own in the next play to put Zamboanga ahead, 85-84.
In the next play, Baloria drove hard to the basket and was fouled in the process by Arboleda, then calmly sank both free throws still 12 seconds left and put the Lanterns back on the driver’s seat, 86-85.
With no timeouts left, Zamboanga rushed to the other end and Roño lost his balance while dribbling from the backcourt and turned the ball over.
Jeric Fabian was fouled with three seconds left and slit his charities, but that opened another opportunity for Zamboanga as guard Joseph Nalos heaved a desperation trey that fell short as celebration in Angeles City erupted.
Earlier, Bacoor scuttled Basilan, 79-67, to stay in contention for the No. 5 spot.