Series openers are zealously won by Pampanga and San Juan

Oct 29, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – The North Division semifinals of the MPBL playoffs were dramatic games that took place at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga. The third-ranked San Juan team met the reigning champion, Nueva Ecija, while the top-seeded Pampanga Giant Lanterns squared off against Caloocan. The outcomes of these games pave the way for exciting league developments.

Caloocan Supremos vs. Pampanga Giant Lanterns

The Caloocan Supremos and Pampanga Giant Lanterns squared off in Game 1 of the North Division semifinals. Pampanga, who had been given the top seed, defeated Caloocan with a final score of 74-63, demonstrating why they had been given that honor.

Outstanding performer Justine Baltazar was essential to Pampanga’s success. He collected 17 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double. He produced three assists and three steals in addition to his outstanding scoring and rebounding, showcasing his all-around prowess. Baltazar’s performance demonstrated how important he is to the Giant Lanterns and their campaign for the MPBL title.

The Giant Lanterns showed off their strength as a team as numerous individuals made significant contributions. They were able to win Game 1 and take a 1-0 series lead because of their balanced approach to the contest.

Despite their best efforts, Caloocan Supremos were unable to defeat the tenacious Pampanga team. Even though they lost, they still have a chance to rally and win the remaining games in the best-of-three series.

Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards vs. San Juan Knights

In a semifinal matchup, the third-ranked San Juan Knights took on the reigning champion Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards. The San Juan Knights defeated the defending champions with a score of 86-82 in a thrilling and closely fought match.

Michael Calisaan, Zach Huang, and Nikko Panganiban were crucial to San Juan’s success. With 17 points, Nikko Panganiban led the Knights and made a strong offensive impact. Michael Calisaan added 10 points to the team’s total, and Zach Huang added 13 points to help the Knights’ scoring efforts. Their collective effort made it possible for Game 1 to be won.

Chris Bitoon led the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards with 14 points. In the waning seconds of the contest, Bitoon hit a crucial three-pointer to give Nueva Ecija the lead 83-82. Despite their late push, they were ultimately defeated by San Juan because they were unable to hold onto the lead.

San Juan’s victory in Game 1 is noteworthy, especially given that they were up against the reigning champs. The MPBL playoffs are expected to feature an interesting semifinal series that promises more tough basketball action.

Overall, the MPBL’s aggressiveness and unpredictable nature were on display in these North Division semifinal games, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats. Basketball fans can expect more exciting moments and remarkable performances from the teams and individuals vying for championship success as the playoffs progress. Game 2 of the series will be played, and teams will try to win the series or force a decisive Game 3.

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