Pampanga claimed the inaugural national championship of the Philippine Super League’s 21-and-under division after beating Consolacion, 76-71, in the national final on Monday night at the Cebu City Sports Institute.
Pampanga, which won the Luzon Division, never wavered despite Consolacion, the champion of the Visayas Division, having some sort of a homecourt advantage being Cebu-based with their raucous fans cheering for them as the PSL 21U’s first national championship is heading to San Fernando City.
The Delta stole the thunder from the Sarok Weavers in the final 2:02 of the game as Justin Bautista led the former’s game-turning 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
Bautista completed a three-point play and also made the dagger layup to give Pampanga a 75-69 lead with 1:06 to play in the game. Joshua Miclat made a layup in between Bautista’s clutch baskets.
Matthew Flores made a jumper in Consolacion’s next play, but it turned out to be the Cebuano squad’s last stand.
The Delta avenged its 57-63 loss to the Sarok Weavers on Saturday night in the round-robin phase of the national finals, coined “Battle of Champions” in style as they leave the mini-tournament with the last laugh plus P200,000 for winning it all.
The Delta took down the Davao Occidental Dreamers, 83-80, on Sunday night to set their rematch with the Sarok Weavers for all the marbles.
Bautista finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Pampanga en route to winning the Most Valuable Player award for the “Battle of Champions”.
Miclat and Kevin Santos each added 12 points with Santos also grabbing 13 rebounds for the double-double.
This is the third championship of the Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda-owned squad in a regional league this year as its professional team and 18-and-under team also won titles in another league last June.
Froiland Maglasang tallied 15 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Rovello Robles added 12 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Consolacion, which failed to complete a 4-0 sweep of the tournament.
Pampanga 76 – Bautista 15, Miclat 12, Santos 12, Delfino 10, Sy 6, Dungo 4, Bugarin 4, Basangan 3, Mendoza 3, Lumba 3, Quiambao 3, Icban 1, De Ausen 0.
Consolacion 71 – Maglasang 15, Robles 12, Flores 11, Paulo 10, Alilin 6, Taburnal 5, Dayday 5, Balaga 5, Sabanal 2, Dalumpines 0, Malazarte 0, Canares 0, Almonia 0, Gonzaga 0, Yap 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15, 37-33, 53-54, 76-71