ANGELES, PAMPANGA — Pampanga continued to build its momentum for the playoffs, trouncing also-ran Bacolod Master’s Sardines, 82-65, in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season, Saturday at the Angeles University Foundation Gymnasium here.
And the Giant Lanterns’ dominant performance is exactly what Pampanga head coach Bong Ramos ordered, as the team is now shifting their gears for the upcoming post-season wars.
“Maganda kasi pumunta sa playoffs ng nanggagaling sa panalo. Kaya sabi ko sa mga players, ‘We develop our character going to the playoffs and that we want to have a winning attitude.’ ‘Yun ang ginagawa namin,” said Ramos.
Behind Michael Juico and Mark Cruz, the Giant Lanterns were able to put up a 16-point cushion, 30-14, to cap off a fiery first quarter.
Bacolod could not get any closer. Pampanga went on to lead by as big as 25 points, 71-46, off two conversions from Larry Muyang from the stripe with 7:25 remaining in the game.
Pint-sized Cruz flaunted his all-around game anew, collecting 16 points, 12 assists, and four rebounds. Homegrown star Juico finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Meanwhile, Jerick Fabian and Dexter Maiquez chipped in 12 points apiece.
Pampanga rise to the fifth spot with a 20-9 standing, overtaking the 19-9 Bataan in the North Division.
On the other hand, Marr Villahermosa spearheaded Bacolod with 17 points along with five turnovers. Yankee Haruna had 14 points, six boards, and two assists.
The Master’s Sardines-powered squad fell to 10-18 in the South Division.
Pampanga (82) – Cruz 16, Juico 15, Fabian 12, Maiquez 12, Cervantes 10, Hernandez 7, Muyang 6, Enriquez 4, Concepcion 0, Thompson 0, Alberto 0, Baltazar 0, Binuya 0, Apreku 0, Gomez 0
Bacolod-Master’s Sardines (65) – Villahermosa 17, Haruna 14, Custodio 8, Caulian 8, Gayosa 4, Tansingco 3, Adamos 3, Charcos 2, Canada 2, Camacho 2Santos 0, Saitanan 0, Bernardo 0, Dimas 0
Quarterscores: 30-14, 39-29, 58-46, 82-65
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva