Pampanga goes for kill vs Bacoor in MPBL finals Game 3
MANILA, Philippines – On the cusp of history, Pampanga visits Bacoor in the closeout Game 3 of the national finals in a bid to complete a sweep and capture the MPBL Fifth Season crown Saturday at the Strike Gym in Cavite.
The Giant Lanterns, rulers of the North Division, troop into the Strikers’ home turf at 7 p.m. with momentum on their side after taking care of the first two games of the best-of-five finale at home in San Fernando.
Pampanga, yet to absorb a loss in a perfect playoff run so far, trounced Bacoor – the South Division champion – in Game 1, 71-58, before escaping with a slim 68-65 win in Game 2.
On the road this time around, the Kapampangans want no let-up as albeit sporting momentum with two straight wins at home, they face immense pressure to strike the final blow on the Strikers on their own soil and win their first MPBL national title via a commanding sweep.
“Homecourt nila. All the pressure is on us. ‘Yun ang paghahandaan ko sa mga anak ko kung paano namin io-overcome itong pressure na ito,” said Pampanga governor and head coach Dennis “Delta” Pineda.
“‘Yung dasal po ng mga Kapampangan, lagi pong nandoon. ‘Yun po ang babaunin namin going into championship pa rin to meet Bacoor in their homecourt.”
Most Valuable Player Justine Baltazar, with Mythical Second Team member Archie Conception, is tasked to spearhead the way for Pampanga in their path to MPBL glory.
Baltazar and Concepcion led the Giant Lantern’s Game 2 win with 13 points apiece as other aces Encho Serrano, Kurt Reyson, Allen Liwag, John Llloyd Clemente and Michael John Garcia vow to deliver big-time performances to seal the deal.
Standing in their way are Mythical First Team member JM Nemal, who’s also the Most Improved Player, and Mythical Second Team's James Kwekuteye with veterans Mark Yee, Yvan Ludovice and Jhaymo Eguilos as the Strikers look to force Game 4 still slated in Bacoor.
“Whatever it takes, ibibigay namin yung best namin sa Game 3, at the same time homecourt namin. ‘Yung Sixth Man na iyon, sobrang laking advantage pagbalik sa Bacoor. Ramdam ko na makakabawi kami,” said Bacoor mentor Alex Angeles.