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Tiebreaker Times


MPBL: Baltazar sets rebounding record in Pampanga escape of Bataan

Justine Baltazar shattered the rebound record as Pampanga thwarted Bataan, 74-72, on Tuesday and remained unbeaten in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Bataan People’s Center in Balanga.

The 6-foot-9 Baltazar snagged 27 rebounds (13 offensive and 14 defensive), surpassing the 26 boards he jointly held with JR Taganas, and played a pivotal role in Pampanga’s 10th straight win in the single round-robin elimination round of the 29-team tournament.

Additionally, Baltazar, the league’s leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (17.6) thus far, scored 13 points, issued 7 assists, and rejected 2 shots for Pampanga, which trailed only defending champion Nueva Ecija (11-0) in the standings.

Jayson Apolonio supported Baltazar with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, as did Archie Concepcion with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Bataan trailed by as many as 14 points and was behind, 55-66, with 4 minutes and 55 seconds left.

However, Ernesto Bondoc drilled 2 triples in a 10-3 spurt to put the Risers closer, 65-69.

Pampanga’s Raymund Binuya then drove in at the 1:08 mark, but Bataan countered with a 7-2 salvo, capped by Yves Sazon’s triple that pushed the Risers within 72-73 with 3 seconds to go.

Baltazar got fouled on the ensuing play, made his first free throw, and missed the second but grabbed the record-setting rebound as time expired.

Sazon ended up with 16 points and James Castro with 13 for Bataan, which fell to 6-6.

In other games, the Pasay Voyagers repelled the Manila Stars, 77-70, while the Makati OKBet Kings routed the Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc., 86-60.

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Pasay climbed to 8-3 behind Laurenz Victoria’s 16 points, Axel Inigo’s 13, AJ Coronel’s 11, and Dhon Reverente’s 10 points.

Manila, which got 11 points each from Jonathan Bailon, Julius Pasculado, and Adrian Celada.

Taking charge from the get-go, Makati surged beyond reach at 72-42 before coasting to its 7th win against 4 losses.

Robby Celiz led Makati with 15 points, followed by Billy Robles and Marco Sario with 14 each, and Matthew Daves with 11.

Valenzuela, which skidded to 1-11, got 11 points from Mchael Macion and Allan Martin and 10 from Luis Tapenio.

The MPBL goes to the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Thursday with a triple bill pitting Negros against Marikina at 4 p.m., Imus against Zamboanga at 6 p.m., and Mindoro against Rizal at 8 p.m.

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