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Batang PBA: Ziv Espinas takes charge in OT as Purefoods cops 14U title

Purefoods battled back from a 23-point deficit, forcing overtime, before outlasting Blackwater, taking a 91-87 victory to rule the 2023 Batang PBA 14-Under title, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena.

Ziv Espinas, son of former PBA journeyman Gabby, scattered a game-high 27 points including seven in OT as the Batang TJ Titans erased an early 21-44 deficit.

“Sobrang saya na champion kami. Noong nag-number two lang kami sa elims, ‘yun ang ginawa naming motivation para mas maging malakas sa natitira naming mga laro,” narrated Espinas.

Aiori Jared Aquino tallied 15 points while Patrick Pasinos and Xavier Kallos had 11 points apiece and Jose Enrico Santos added 10 for Purefoods, which outscored Blackwater, 14-9 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

2023-PBA-12U-Ginebra Batang PBA: Ziv Espinas takes charge in OT as Purefoods cops 14U title Basketball Batang PBA News  - philippine sports news

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Meanwhile, Ginebra repelled a late charge by Meralco for a 76-72 decision to capture the 12-Under division.

Led by Simon Jazul, the Batang Gin Kings pulled away early but had to survive a searing rally by the Batang Bolts in the closing minutes to win the knockout finale.

The son of Phoenix veteran guard RJ Jazul finished with a game-high 21 points for Ginebra which wrapped up its campaign with a perfect 6-0 record.

Zion Aguilar contributed 18 points, Jeff Juangco had 11, Elvin Pascual chipped in nine and Richmond Gonzales added eight points for the Batang Gin Kings, who raced to an early 27-10 advantage.

“Maraming salamat sa buong team at sa lahat ng teammates namin. Maraming salamat sa parents namin sa walang sawang pag-cheer at sa Batang PBA for the opportunity to play here,” said Jazul, who scored his team’s first 10 points.

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Carl Songco fired 16 points, Lawrence Luna had 10 while Neil Garcia and Ryle Gimaranga turned in nine each for Blackwater.

Lorenzo Purugganan and John Dave Mindanao tallied 10 points apiece for Meralco.

The Scores:

12U Final:
Ginebra 76 – Jazul 21, Aguilar 18, Juangco 11, Pascual 9, Gonzales 8, San Miguel 4, Javier 3, Paras 2, Evangelista 0, Galang 0, Hwang 0, Banate 0, Gan 0, Ngo 0, Norwood 0.
Meralco 72 – Villaruz 16, L. Purugganan 10, Mindanao 10, I. Purugganan 9, Poquiz 9, Delos Reyes 6, Ylen 4, Mercado 3, Albino 2, Francisco 2, Pazcoquin 1, Stehmeier 0, Torroba 0, Rivera 0.
Quarterscores: 27-10, 42-25, 58-43, 76-72.

14U Final:
Purefoods 91 – Espinas 27, Aquino 15, Pasinos 11, Kallos 11, Santos 10, Martin 8, Cagurungan 5, Favis 2, Molina 2, Lopez 0, Tagudin 0, Reyes 0, Coronel 0, Paras 0, Pineda 0.
Red President 87 – Songco 16, Luna 10, Garcia 9, Gimarangan 9, Knowles 8, Caba?ero 8, Se?o 8, Lumague 5, Roxas 4, Bathan 3, Ferriols 3, Sarmiento 2, Sanchez 2, Villar 0.
Quarterscores: 22-15, 47-40, 65-58, 74-74, 91-87 (OT).

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