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Tiebreaker Times


MPBL: Baltazar powers Pampanga to rout of Quezon

Justine Baltazar, dominant inside and out, powered Pampanga past Quezon Province, 83-60, on Friday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

Exploiting his 6-foot-8 frame, Baltazar fired 20 points, highlighted by two triples, and snagged 16 rebounds for his 20th straight double-double as the Giant Lanterns improved to 20 wins against a single loss in the elimination round of the 29-team tournament.

The MVP race pacesetter was supported by MJ Garcia and Jayson Castro Apolonio, who both contributed 11 points each, while Allen Bryant Liwag and John Lloyd Clemente added 9 points each. Local icon Archie Concepcion chipped in with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Another Pampanga superstar, Encho Serrano, was fielded for only 7 minutes and 26 seconds following an injury and ended up scoreless.

The Quezon Huskers, who suffered their sixth loss in 20 starts, could not put up a decent fight as only Alfrancis Tamsi reached double digits with 10 points.

In the nightcap, Caloocan trounced skidding Pasay, 79-61, while in the opener, Imus routed Laguna, 64-48.

Banking on Gabby Espinas’ 13 points and 11 rebounds output, the Batang Kankaloo climbed to 16-7, while the Pasay Voyagers dropped to 12-10 following their fifth straight defeat. Espinas received support from Jeramer Cabanag with 11 points and Paul Sanga with 10.

Imus rose to 9-11 behind Jaymar Gimpayan’s 11 points and 24 rebounds, Carlo Lastimosa’s 14 points and 4 rebounds, and Nino Canaleta’s 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Laguna skidded to 3-19.

The MPBL begins its Visayas Invasion in Bacolod on Saturday with a doubleheader at the University of St. La Salle Gym. Nueva Ecija and Makati clash at 6 p.m., followed by the Manila-Negros encounter at 8 p.m.

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