SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA — Pampanga Delta stamped its class on La Union PAOwer, taking a 76-68 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday to capture the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 3 Black Arrow Express-President’s Cup at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.
And it was all because of Levi Hernandez’s will.
Hernandez scored 24 points — and emerged as finals MVP for his consistent performance in the entire series. The 25th overall pick in the PBA draft normed 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in the finale.
The product of Arellano sparked the second quarter in which the Delta outscored the PAOwer, 18-9, and a 35-27 halftime lead.
Mark Tamayo and Michael Juico each had 11 points and made key shots that contained La Union in the second half.
Jayson Apolonio topscored for the PAOwer with 21 points, but the team showed a gallant effort in the entire series. La Union was able to tie the series in Game 2 with an 84-80 win
Delta head coach and Pampanga governor Dennis Pineda claimed their first NBL championship.
“Inaalay ko ito sa mga Kapampangan. Nung una, lumaban kami, nabigo kami, pero nagtulung-tulong kaming mga Kapampangan players,” said Pineda.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa NBL na tinuloy nila ang liga. We need to live with this pandemic.”
Pampanga took Game One, 88-83, before La Union was able to get it back, 84-80.
The pivotal Game Three saw the Delta dominate the Paower, 82-73.
NBL staged a bubble to complete its Season 3 following the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the supervision of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
The NBL bubble was situated at the Bren Z. Guiao Sports Complex where all teams, staff, and production team underwent three tests, with all yielding a negative result. Strict health protocols were also implemented during the bubble.
PAMPANGA 76 – Hernandez 24, Tamayo 11, Juico 11, Gania 7, Maiquez 6, Pascual 6, Binuya 5, Santos 2, Manaloto 2, Llangco 2, Antiza 0.
LA UNION 68 – Apolonio 21, Maynes 15, Silverie 8, Ablao 8, Gatchallan 7, Caasi 5, Fontanilla 4, Doliente 0, Francisco 0, Camaya 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18, 35-27, 58-51, 76-68.