PAMPANGA-Pradera Theme Park forged a finals clash with Farm Fresh-Letran in the 2023 Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League 18-Under Battle of the Champions after eliminating Max Ballers with an emphatic 87-72 victory on Thursday at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The Delta ended their nationals campaign with a 3-1 record — 16-1 overall — to take the other slot in the best-of-three finale which begins on Friday.
It was a dominant outing for Pampanga-Pradera, a team raring to get back the 92-87 loss it received at the hands of Farm Fresh-Letran last Wednesday, highlighted by a dominant third quarter that saw them turn a 52-45 halftime lead into a 76-55 cushion heading into the last 10 minutes of the game.
Incoming De La Salle University freshman Rhyle Melencio led the way for the Delta with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Veejay Pre bullied his way to a line of 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Debuting Joseph Pangilinan also shone for the Kapampangans, chipping in 13 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, Farm Fresh-Letran will enter the final stage of this tournament co-presented by SCD and Dumper party-list and supported by J Project Clothings, MDC, Bluesky Advertising, NET 25, Wcube Solutions Inc., Hotel SOGO, and Converge with a clean 4-0 slate after taking a dominant 100-79 win over Cagayan de Oro Higalas.
With Andy Gemao sitting out the contest, Jhaslie De Leon shone brightly, dropping 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field.
Daniel Padilla and Jovel Baliling chipped in 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Patrick Tojeras paced Max Ballers with 19 points and seven assists while Norman Cagampang got 15 points.
Rex Alcover, meanwhile, led CDO with 29 points.
Sherilin-Unisol Khalifa City of Naga finished the tournament in third place as despite having a tied record with Max Ballers, it owned the tiebreaker advantage by virtue of its 97-95 overtime win last Wednesday.
The Higalas ended up in fifth place after going winless in the final phase.