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Sports

Pampanga, Caloocan take openers vs separate foes

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Top-seeded Pampanga defended its turf against Marikina, 82-70, while Caloocan escaped past Pasig MCW Sports, 71-69, in winning starts in the 2023 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) quarterfinals Friday night at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City.

Debuting PBA legend Arwind Santos made his presence felt in limited action as the Giant Lanterns lived up to expectations as the No. 1 seed in the North Division.

Santos, the nine-time PBA champion, MVP, two-time Finals MVP and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, racked up four points and six rebounds in only 13 minutes.

Archie Concepcion led Pampanga with 26 points as Michael John Garcia (13) and Encho Serrano (12) threw in help with MPBL MVP race frontrunner Justine Baltazar hauling down nine points, 21 rebounds and seven assists against the No. 8 Shoemasters.

Pampanga will try to go for a 2-0 sweep in the short quarterfinal series Friday at the Caloocan City Sports Complex.

Meanwhile, Gabby Espinas starred with 13 points and 12 rebounds highlighted by the game-winner in the last three seconds as the Batang Kankaloo, seeded No. 4, fended off valiant No. 5 Pasig.

Reil Cervantes and Jeramer Cabanag added 16 and 12 points, respectively, for Caloocan that will shoot for the clincher at home in the next match.

vuukle comment

GUIAO

MVP

PBA

SANTOS

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