Bataan defeats Pampanga in overtime to get to the quarterfinals as Nueva Ecija easily advances

Oct 27, 2022

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In the crowded Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga, Bataan narrowly defeated Pampanga, 85-83, in overtime on Saturday to maintain its semi final bid in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme.

The Bataan Risers were plagued by bad free throw shooting, particularly in the extension, but a seven-point run started by Kristoffer Torrado’s three-pointer tipped the scale in their favor.

The Camaya Coast-backed Risers were forced to play Game 3 at the same location on October 29 after losing Game 1 against the Giant Lanterns, 75-82.

The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards defeated the Marikina Shoemasters earlier in the game, 82-71, to win the series and advance easily to the semifinals, where they will play the winner of the contest between Bataan and Pampanga.

Torrado was named the game’s top player after playing for 43 minutes and 15 seconds and finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Arvie Bringas contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds, Ernesto Bondoc contributed 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Gio Espuelas contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds in his favor.

They made up for James Castro, the team’s go-to player, who was limited to six points, eight assists, and five rebounds due to the Giant Lanterns’ tight defense.

Michael Garcia led Pampanga with 23 points and six rebounds, Dominick Vera added 14 points and five rebounds, and Archie Concepcion contributed 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Archie Concepcion’s three missed free throws in the overtime period epitomized the Giant Lanterns’ inability to make shots from inside the 15-foot line.

The Giant Lanterns, who jumped off to a quick 9-0 lead, made only 24 of the 45 charities, for a dismal conversion rate of 53.3 percent.

However, the Risers were able to force overtime at 74-74 thanks to Gio Espuelas’ two free throws with just 2.1 seconds remaining.

Pampanga still has a chance to extend the game, but they failed on four of their last-chance shots.

As anticipated, Nueva Ecija easily defeated Marikina in their series opener, beating them 103-71.

Will McAloney led Nueva Ecjia, which increased its winning streak to 23, including a 21-game sweep of the elimination phase, with 19 points and nine rebounds. Byron Villarias, Michael Juico, and Michael Mabulac were next with 12 points and five rebounds each.

Jason Opsio scored 18 points, Mark Garcia scored 17, Nhomer Gonzales scored 14, and Enzo Joson scored 13.

On Monday, October 23, at 6:30 p.m., the MPBL returned to the Batangas City Coliseum with Zamboanga attempting to sweep Muntinlupa. At nine o’clock, Bacolod hopes to defeat GenSan once more.

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