JUSTINE Baltazar dazzled with 31 points and 21 rebounds as the Pampanga G Lanterns outlasted defending champion Davao Occidental-Cocolife 87-84 last Monday night in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals battle for the Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup crown at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Before a wild and roaring and pro-Pampanga crowd, Baltazar’s layup in the final minute stretched the G Lanterns’ lead to 87-76 that proved to be too much despite the Tigers going on an 8-0 windup.
Supporting Baltazar were King Caralipio, Louie Sangalang, and Michael Garcia, who scored 13, 11, and 11 points, respectively as the troops of coach and Pampanga governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda moved within a win of reaching the Promised Land in the tilt presented by Dumper party-list, Winzir, and Skin Care Depot, co-presented by SCD Cosmetics, and supported by NET 25, Adcon, Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton, with PBA and Gilas Pilipinas great Marc Pingris serving as Commissioner.
The G Lanterns will try to finish off Davao Occidental in the second game of the race-to-2 series tomorrow, Thursday, at the RMC Gymnasium in Davao City.
A deciding Game 3, if necessary, will be played on Sunday back at the Pampanga-based venue.
Wilson scored 25 points and grabbed four rebounds for the Tigers, while Gab Dagangon had 13.
The league feted its Mythical Team aptly called “Super Five” at halftime namely Gabby Espinas of Batang Kankaloo-Caloocan, San Juan’s Orlan Wamar, the Boracay pair of Jaymar Gimpayan and Mac Cardona, and Davao Occidental’s John Wilson.
Cardona was also named Inspirational Player of the PSL.
PAMPANGA G LANTERNS 87 – Baltazar 31, Caralipio 13, Sangalang 11, Garcia 11, Binuya 7, Concepcion 4, Santos 4, Reyson 4, Pambid 2, Del Rosario 0, Celada 0.
DAVAO OCCIDENTAL-COCOLIFE 84 – Wilson 25, Dagangon 13, Sorela 9, Calo 9, Celiz 6, Robles 6, Rodriguez 5, Abundo 4, Balagtas 3, Mag-Isa 2, Agovida 2, Subido 0, Jimenez 0.
Quarters: 20-27, 45-44, 70-61, 87-84.