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MPBL: Baltazar powers Pampanga rout of Imus, goes 2-0


Justine Baltazar exerted his dominance in his second game in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season, leading Pampanga to a 93-72 victory over Imus SV on Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Baltazar scored 15 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots to establish Pampanga’s superiority.

Jayson Apolonio tallied a game-high 25 points, with 17 coming in the fourth quarter, while Archie Concepcion had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, and MJ Garcia contributed 13 points and 7 rebounds for Pampanga.

The team will be reinforced by veterans Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot and rising star Encho Serrano once their playing contracts end.

Imus, which now has a 2-3 record, received 14 points from Mark Cardona, 13 from Marvin Hayes, and 12 from Carlo Lastimosa.

Meanwhile, General Santos defeated Rizal Xentromall, 80-78, and Pasay held off Muntinlupa, 72-71 in the nightcap.

Muntinlupa’s Ian Melencio made three consecutive free throws and had possession of the ball with 5.3 seconds remaining, but the Cagers failed to take a shot and suffered their first loss in six games.

The Voyagers relied on Laurenz Victoria’s 26 points in the second and third quarters to take the lead, 57-53, and held on to secure their third consecutive victory after starting the season 0-2. Tricky Dyn Peromingan added 13 points and 8 rebounds for the team.

Muntinlupa, which surged ahead 46-36, got 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists from Melencio and 12 points and 4 rebounds from John Amores.

The Warriors extended their winning streak to four games, with Jervy Cruz scoring 14 points, John Wilson contributing 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Mark Cruz adding 10 points.

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Rizal fell to 1-5 despite Troy Mallillin’s 22-point, 8-rebound, 4-assist, 2-steal, and 2-block performance.

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