MPBL Sports Game
MPBL Sports Game, Nueva Ecija and San Juan aim for sweep in the MPBL. MANILA, Philippines (AP) — When Nueva Ecija and San Juan face Pampanga and Pasig, respectively, in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Friday, they will strive to build a finals’ battle in the North Division.
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The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards defeated the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, 104-89, in the first game of their best-of-three semifinal series on Monday, while San Juan Go for Gold defeated Pasig OKBET Sports, 88-68.
Nueva Ecija, which swept the elimination round and Marikina in the quarterfinals, will be looking for its 25th consecutive victory at 6:30 p.m. Michael Mabulac, John Bryon Villarias, Michael Juico, Hesed Gabo, and Will McAloney will lead the Rice Vanguards, whose roster is so deep that Cabiltes can afford platoon replacements.
Jay Collado, Jonathan Uyloan, Pamboy Raymundo, Renz Palma, JR Taganas, Philip Manalang, and Bobby Balucanag are more Vanguards who may produce at any moment. Pampanga, made up primarily of native talent, has proved that it can battle with Nueva Ecija till the fourth quarter and is capable of surprising.
Archie Concepcion is expected to redeem himself after a lackluster effort in Game 1 and lead the Giant Lanterns, who will also rely on Jammer Jamito, Jayson Castro Aplonio, John Lorenz Capulong, Dominick Vera, Michael Garcia, and Christopher Lagrama on MPBL Sports Game.
Coach Randy Alcantara is anticipated to rely on Judel Fuentes, Michael Calisaaan, Dexter Maiquez, Orlan Wamar, and Marwin Taywan again in the 9 p.m. match against Pasig. Top Gun Carlo Lastimosa, along with Jason Melano, Robbie Manalang, Ryan Costelo, and Jason Ballesteros, must produce for Pasig to recover at the MPBL Sports Game.