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Bottle-throwing drama mars MPBL Finals Game 1 as Pampanga emerges victorious


A day after missing out on his last-ever game with Colegio de San Juan de Letran, a suddenly-healthy Kurt Reyson showed out for Pampanga.

In his first game as a pro, Reyson powered the Delta to a 71-58 demolition of the Bacoor Strikers to take Game 1 of the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season National Finals at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Reyson made an instant impact, firing 22 points for the Giant Lanterns who only allowed Bacoor to score the first basket before taking control for good with an eight-point cluster.

Another 10-point bunch, capped by a triple each from John Lloyd Clemente, Justine Baltazar, and Encho Serrano, with 40 seconds to go in the first quarter shoved Pampanga further ahead, 21-4, from which Bacoor couldn’t recover.

The game though was marred by a bottle-throwing incident during the tailend of the second quarter that led to some fans being ejected.

With 28.2 seconds left in the first half, Lester Reyes got tangled up with Justine Baltazar which led to both players crashing to the floor.

Irate, fans threw bottles on the court resulting in a momentary pause in the game.

Pampanga head coach and governor Delta Pineda had to step in to stop things from escalating.

“Huwag natin pabayaan magulo tong laro na ‘to. Lamang tayo. Lamang tayo, Kapampangan. Nakikiusap ako na wala ng mambabato. Pagnakakita tayo, automatic na lalabas kayo ng court. Disiplina ang kailangan natin, nakikiusap po ako sa inyo. Kapampangan, walang bibitaw kaya natin ‘to,” he said.

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A disqualifying foul was slapped on Reyes.

After the incident, the Strikers came to within 33-38, early in the third quarter, but Reyson combined with Baltazar, Allen Liwag, and John Lloyd Clemente to pad the lead to 52-37.

Baltazar, the runaway MVP pacesetter, posted 13 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and a block in another solid performance.

Bacoor got 16 points and five rebounds from Jhaymo Eguilos and 17 points plus four rebounds and two steals from Jhan Nermal.

Game 2 will be held at the same venue on Nov. 28, before swinging to the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor City for Game 3 on Dec. 2. If necessary, Game 4 will also be staged in Bacoor on Dec. 5. San Fernando will again play host if the series goes the full route on Dec. 9.

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