Pampanga gets Top 4 finish with win over Pasig

Michael Juico prevailed in a scoring battle against Josan Nimes. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Pampanga sealed a Top 4 finish in the MPBL Northern Division Playoffs after drubbing Pasig, 71-62, at the Bataan People's Center in Balanga on Wednesday night.

The Giant Lanterns took over in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Realtors, 22-13, to break a 49-all tie after the first three periods.

"We want to go for a win all the time kasi we're building a character going to the playoffs. Ngayon nakuha pa namin yung number four spot for the advantage sa playoffs," said Coach Bong Ramos after the win.

The said advantage comes in the form of homecourt advantage in the first round, which means Pampanga gets to host one playoff game.

Michael Juico put up 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting, six rebounds, one assist, and one steal for Pampanga, which finished its regular season campaign at 21-9, winning seven straight games. Reil Cervantes added 11 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

Josan Nimes had 17 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Pasig, which fell to 18-12 to end its own regular season campaign. The loss also means the team will settle for the seventh seed in the North Playoffs.

The Scores:

Pampanga (71) -- Juico 20, Cervantes 11, Cruz 8, Maiquez 8, Hernandez 8, Muyang 6, Fabian 5, Thompson 3, Apreku 2, Alberto

Pasig-Sta. Lucia (62) -- Nimes 17, Teng 14, Najorda 12, Manalang 7, Gotladera 5, Adriano 4, Canon 2, Tamayo 1, Velchez 0, Medina 0, Grealy 0, Chavenia 0

Quarterscores: 15-16, 30-30, 49-49, 71-62

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno