The Pampanga Giant Lanterns showcased their dominance as they secured a resounding 73-64 victory over the Caloocan Batang Kankaloo in the first game of the MPBL North Division semifinal series.
This thrilling showdown took place at the Brenz Z. Guiao Sports Center in San Fernando, Pampanga, on a Friday.
In a game where the stakes were high, Justine Baltazar once again emerged as the standout player, recording an impressive double-double in front of the home crowd. This remarkable performance not only propelled the Giant Lanterns to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series but also maintained their flawless playoff record.
Pampanga’s dominance was evident throughout the contest, and they enjoyed a commanding 27-point lead as they entered the final quarter. The fourth quarter commenced with an electrifying three-pointer from Louie Sangalang, extending the lead to 70-41.
Caloocan made a valiant effort to claw back into the game, narrowing the deficit to 11 points after Paul Sanga sank a shot from beyond the arc, making it 63-74. However, that would be the closest the Batang Kankaloo would get to catching up.
Leading the charge for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns was Justine Baltazar, who contributed 17 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists. Jeric Serrano also played a crucial role, finishing with nine points, three rebounds, and three assists.
On the Caloocan side, Paul Sanga led the scoring with 17 points, along with one rebound and one assist, while Jeramer Cabanag added 12 points, two rebounds, and one assist to their efforts.
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