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Batang PBA: Baliwag bros lift Ginebra to 11U title


In a nail-biting finale, Ginebra emerged victorious over San Miguel, 61-59, to claim the 2023 Batang PBA 11-Under Division on Sunday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre in San Juan.

It was the dynamic duo of brothers Joaquin Miguel and Julian Mateo Baliwag who stepped up in the clutch moments. The two delivered the decisive blows that propelled the Batang Gin Kings to an undefeated record of four wins in the tournament.

Joaquin Miguel, showcasing his exceptional skills, poured in an impressive 20 points, while Julian Mateo contributed 10 points. Mateo also made crucial baskets during the critical junctures of the game, ensuring Ginebra’s triumph over potential defeat.

Trailing by eight points with the game clock winding down, Ginebra faced a daunting challenge. However, Joaquin Miguel took charge, spearheading a remarkable 13-2 run that featured an incredible and-one basket.

This surge propelled Ginebra into the lead, with the scoreboard reading 57-54.

Karim Abdul provided additional support with his solid eight-point contribution, while Samuel Manlutac added five points to the tally. The Batang Gin Kings, despite a slow start, demonstrated resilience and determination, clawing their way back into contention.

“I’m happy to play with my brother and the whole Ginebra team. We’re still developing, and we made it as champions. It’s good,” expressed an elated Joaquin Miguel, who is only 11 years old.

Julian Mateo, just 10 years old, added, “This victory is for our parents, teammates, and coaching staff. We are grateful to all of them for their support.”

On the opposing side, Fritz Avillano led the charge for San Miguel with 14 points, while Andrei Ancheta contributed 12 points. Brothers Thiago (10) and Theon Cruz (9) showcased their skills, guiding San Miguel’s valiant efforts.

#ReadMore  Arvin Tolentino relishes performing in front of Ginebra crowd for first time

The Scores:

Ginebra 61 – Baliwag 20 Jo., Baliwag 10 Ju., Abdul 8, Manlutac 5, Esperas 4, Tolentino 4, Talaue 2, Espiritu 2, Gomez 2, Fernandez 2, Ibuyan 2, Labagala 0, Dela Cruz 0, Castaneda 0, Pabilonia 0.

San Miguel 59 – Avillano 14, Ancheta 13, Cruz Thi. 10, Cruz The. 9, Villasis 4, Robles 2, Mesina 2, Posada 2, Madrid 2, Rubenecia 1, Pacion 0, Caberte 0, Hufano Is. 0, Hufano Iv. 0, Jardin 0.

Quarterscores: 15-24, 29-28, 41-44, 61-59

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