JONG Baloria captained Makati's 94-88 Game One victory over Bulacan in the North Division quarterfinals in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup playoffs Tuesday at the San Andres Sports Complex.
The veteran sniper scored seven in the Super Crunch's telling 14-0 spurt to turn the game from a 74-67 deficit to an 81-74 lead with 4:42 lead to seize control of the tilt.
The Kuyas, behind JR Alabanza and Oliver Arim, tried to mount a rally to make it an 83-81 affair, before Joseph Sedurifa and Joshua Torralba put the game away for Makati as it grabbed a 94-81 lead with 32 ticks left.
"Naging patient lang kami sa depensa. Tumaas yung energy, saka gumanda yung shooting percentage namin. Naging consistent lang din kami sa depensa," said coach Beaujing Acot.
Jeckster Apinan and Cedric Ablaza mob Joseph Sedurifa.
Baloria powered the three-seed Super Crunch with 20 points on a 6-of-10 shooting, along with three rebounds and two assists.
Sedurifa added 17 points, seven boards, four assists, and two steals, Cedric Ablaza chimed in 17 points, and Torralba had 15 points built on three treys.
Makati can sweep the series with Game Two on Saturday at home at Makati Coliseum.
Rev Diputado and Jovit Dela Cruz both had 17 points in the losing cause for the six-seed Bulacan.
MAKATI 94 -- Baloria 20, Sedurifa 17, Ablaza 17, Torralba 15, Apinan 9, Atkins 6, Importante 3, Cruz 3, Lingganay 2, Villanueva 2.
BULACAN 88 -- Diputado 17, Dela Cruz 17, Alabanza 13, Siruma 10, Escosio 7, Nermal 6, Capacio 6, Santos 6, Taganas 4, Arim 2, Alvarez 0, De Mesa 0.
Quarters: 15-24, 37-44, 62-66, 88-94.