Pampanga, San Juan win openers
The Pampanga Giant Lanterns and San Juan Knights both opened the 2019/2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup playoffs with wins over the weekend. Pampanga scored a 71-64 win over the Bataan Risers while San Juan narrowly edged out Pasay Voyagers, 75-74.
Levi Hernandez spearheaded Pampanga’s victory with 18 points and five rebounds, while Reil Cervantes contributed 13 points, and Jeric Fabian added 10.
Hernandez, Cervantes, and Mark Cruz led the Giant Lanterns with a 17-0 start, which expanded further to 30 points in the subsequent period after a Fabian lay-in gave them a 48-18 lead. However, Reed Juntilla helped Bataan reduce their deficit to 64-58 in the fourth period.
In response, Hernandez and Cruz drained shots to keep the Risers at bay.
Meanwhile, Alfred Batino finished with 19 points for Bataan; while Gino Jumao-as contributed 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists; and Juntilla added 10 points.
In the other game, while down by eight points, John Wilson, Jhonard Clarito, and Orlan Wamar pushed San Juan to a 74-71 advantage with 33 seconds left. A Clarito free throw added another point with nine seconds remaining in the game./ASC, WDJ