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San Pedro withstands Calamba's late run to win Liga Laguna title

San Pedro is the number one basketball city in Laguna at least for the first half of 2023. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN PEDRO—This city took pride in being the best basketball town in the entirety of Laguna after winning the Liga Laguna title.

The Dataforce-backed San Pedro squad clinched the title after beating Calamba, 89-84, in the deciding game of their championship series on Sunday night at the San Pedro Sports Complex.

San Pedro pulled away late in the third quarter, opening a 74-60 lead at the end of the period to the delight of the home crowd.

Calamba, anchored by former RP Youth Team member Embons Bonleon, came alive in the fourth quarter and cut the lead down to four, 88-84, with 12.6 seconds left.

However, a split from MJ Homo with 11 seconds remaining iced the contest as time eventually ran out on Calamba.

John Abis led the home side with 17 points and eight rebounds to back up pro league journeyman Allan Mangahas, who was named Finals MVP during the awarding rites.

"Nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord kasi Siya lang naman ang nagbigay sa amin ng lakas para i-represent yung San Pedro. Credit rin sa mga players ko. Nag-execute lang kami whole game and ni-render lang namin yung emotions namin along the way," San Pedro head coach Izzen Velasco told Dugout Philippines after the game.

“It wasn’t an easy win, always been a struggle for each team. We were facing a young team. Our good start in this game was really a good investment for us.,” Mangahas added in a separate interview.

Bonleon made 23 points and 13 rebounds for Calamba, which failed to duplicate its 100-91 Game 2 win at home last week.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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