ANGELES CITY — Fourth-seed Pampanga-ADG Group drew energy from its home crowd, outlasting 1Bataan-Camaya Coast, 83-80, to march on to the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan semifinals, Thursday at the AUF Gym here.
With Pampanga down one with 44.4 seconds left on the clock, Dexter Maiquez bullied his way in the paint. Defender Chito Jaime then fell down as the former calmly banked his layup for the lead, 79-78.
Off a timeout, Byron Villarias quickly heaved a triple that badly missed. Maiquez then drained four free throws to put his side ahead by five, 83-78, with 19.5 ticks left.
On the other end, Gino Jumao-as forced his way inside and drew a foul, converting both freebies to trim the deficit to just a single possession.
In the next possession, Ryan Batino intercepted Maiquez’ pass, giving the Risers a chance to send the game to overtime. However, Reed Juntilla saw his three-point attempt blocked by Michael Juico, ending the game.
“Kailangan talaga naming maglaro tulad ng endgame execution ngayon, lalo na’t ang kalaban namin sa semis, defending champion na San Juan,” said Pampanga head coach Bong Ramos.
Maiquez finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Juico posted 14 markers and seven boards.
Levi Hernandez chalked up 14 points, while Larry Muyang was a force down low with 13 markers and 11 rebounds.
On the other hand, Juntilla paced Bataan with 22 points. Chito Jaime added 21 points built on 11 free throws.
The Giant Lanterns will square off against reigning MPBL champion San Juan-Go for Gold in the best-of-three semifinals.
Pampanga-ADG Group 83 – Maiquez 19, Juico 14, Hernandez 14, Muyang 13, Alberto 6, Cervantes 5, Cruz 5, Fabian 4, Thompson 3, Apreku 0.
1Bataan-Camaya Coast 80 – Juntilla 22, Jaime 21, Villarias 9, Jumao-as 7, Castro 6, Iñigo 3, Nalos 3, Ortega 3, Batino 2, David 2, Gozum 2, Llanto 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 35-37, 64-58, 83-80.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photos by Nicks Hernandez