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MPBL: Bataan survives Pampanga in OT for QF decider as Nueva Ecija cruises to semis


Bataan squeaked past Pampanga, 85-83, in overtime on Saturday and kept its semifinal bid alive in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the people-filled Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

A seven-point cluster, triggered by Kristoffer Torrado’s three-pointer, swayed the balance for the Bataan Risers, who were hounded by poor free throw shooting., especially in the extension.

The Camaya Coast-backed Risers, who yielded to the Giant Lanterns, 75-82, in Game 1, thus forced a Game 3 decider on October 29 at the same venue.

Earlier, the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards thwarted the Marikina Shoemasters, 82-71, to sweep their quarterfinal series and cruised to the semifinal round, where they’re going to face the winner between Bataan and Pampanga.

Torrado, who played for 43 minutes and 15 seconds, wound up with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and 2 steals, to earn best player of the game honors. He got support from Arvie Bringas with 16 points and 13 rebounds, Ernesto Bondoc with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Gio Espuelas with nine points and six rebounds.

They compensated for go-to-guy James Castro, who was held to six points, eight assists, and five rebounds by the tough defense the Giant Lanterns clamped on him.

Pampanga got 23 points and six rebounds from Michael Garcia; 14 points and five rebounds from Dominick Vera; and 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals from Archie Concepcion, whose three free throw misses in the extension typified the Giant Lanterns’ struggle from the 15-foot-line.

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The Giant Lanterns, who zoomed ahead, 9-0, at the start, made only 24 of 45 charities for a poor 53.3 percent conversion rate.

In contrast, the Risers were able to forge overtime at 74-74 through two free throws by Gio Espuelas with only 2.1 seconds left.

Still, Pampanga has chances to extend the game again, but missed on four attempts in the homestretch.

2022-MPBL-Season-Nueva-Ecija-def-Marikina-Will-McAloney MPBL: Bataan survives Pampanga in OT for QF decider as Nueva Ecija cruises to semis Basketball MPBL News  - philippine sports news

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As expected Nueva Ecija had little trouble repeating over Marikina, which it dumped, 103-71, in their series opener.

Will McAloney paced Nueva Ecjia, which extended its win-run to 23, including a 21-game sweep of the elimination phase, with 19 points and nine rebounds; followed by Byron Villarias with 12 points and five rebounds; Michael Juico with 11 points and 10 rebounds; and Michael Mabulac with 11 points and five rebounds.

Marikina got 18 points from Jason Opsio, 17 from Mark Garcia, 14 from Nhomer Gonzales, and 13 from Enzo Joson.

The MPBL returns to the Batangas City Coliseum on Monday, October 23, with Zamboanga seeking a sweep of Muntinlupa at 6:30 p.m. and Bacolod also aiming for a repeat over GenSan at 9 p.m.

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