Pampanga repulses Bataan, forces semis tiff with N. Ecija

Pampanga repulses Bataan, forces semis tiff with N. Ecija

Pampanga weathered Bataan’s final assault to prevail, 66-62, on Friday and barge into the semifinal round of the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the jampacked Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Dominick Vera canned his two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to seal the outcome for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, who bested the Bataan Risers, 2-1, in their best-of-three North division quarterfinal series.

Pampanga moved ahead, 64-56, but Bataan refused to give up with Arvie Bringas drilling in a corner triple, Kristoffer Torrado driving in and Ric Gallardo splitting his charities to make it, 64-62, only 14.8 seconds left.

Unlike in Game 2, however, when the Giant Lanterns crumbled and yielded an 83-85 decision, they stood their ground this time to advance to the semifinals against the unbeaten Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards on Monday at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City.

Archie Concepcion and Christopher Lagrama led Pampanga with 13 points each, followed by Vera and Earnest Reyes with 10 each. Reyes also hauled down 10 rebounds.

Bataan got 14 points each from James Castro and 10 from Kristoffer Torrado.

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