ANGELES, PAMPANGA — Pampanga came back from a 19-point deficit to turn back Batangas-Tanduay in overtime, 82-79, in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season, Thursday night at the AUF Gym.
Knotted at 79-all in extra period, Pampanga’s latest pick-up Larry Muyang made the eventual game-winner off a dish from Jeric Fabian with 12.4 ticks left.
“Ginamit namin ‘yung isa naming depensa, ‘yung ginagamit namin noong umpisa ng liga. Hindi napansin ng Batangas ‘yun, kaya nakahabol kami,” said Pampanga head coach Bong Ramos.
Down by one midway through the first frame, 6-7, Batangas went on a 16-2 burst to end the period ahead by double-figures, 22-9.
Trailing 65-50 early in the payoff period, Pampanga unloaded a 16-2 rally to come within one, 66-67, off a Mark Cruz fastbreak layup. Later, up by just a point, 71-70, Jeff Viernes was fouled from deep with the shot-clock winding down at 23.1 ticks. Unfortunately, though, he only made one of three freebies, 72-70.
Muyang then converted the game-tying putback off Mark Cruz’s missed triple to send the game to overtime, 72-72.
The 6-foot-5 Muyang — a native of Pampanga and part of the San Juan team that won the Datu Cup — had nine points and seven boards.
Levi Hernandez posted 32 points for the Giant Lanterns, while Michael Juico added 13 markers and 12 rebounds. Dexter Maiquez also chipped in seven points and 20 rebounds.
This is Pampanga’s fourth consecutive victory, as they improved to 17-9.
On the other hand, Jeff Viernes paced the 14-11 Batangas with 19 points, seven dimes, and five rebounds.
Jaydee Tungcab made his Batangas debut as well, finishing with six markers, a rebound, an assist, and a steal. However, he committed three turnovers in 12 minutes of game time.
Pampanga 82 – Hernandez 32, Juico 13, Muyang 9, Cruz 8, Maiquez 7, Cervantes 6, Apreku 4, Alberto 2, Fabian 1, Thompson 0.
Batangas-Tanduay 79 – Viernes 19, Melano 12, Suerte 12, Bragais 11, Tungcab 6, Olivares 5, Sara 5, Grimaldo 4, Santos 3, Eguilos 2, Koga 0.
Quarterscores: 9-22, 29-39, 48-59, 72-72, 82-79.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Nicks Hernandez