HOME team Pampanga banked on Mark Cruz's heroics to send Valenzuela to its fourth consecutive loss, 77-74, on Wednesday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.
With 44.7 ticks left, Classic's Paul Varilla committed a foul while attempting to swipe the ball, resulting in two free throws that Cruz calmly sank. Then he iced the game with a pair of freebies with 6.8 seconds remaining.
Carlo de Chavez attempted a trey but it rimmed out as time expired, and the Giant Lanterns scored their fifth win in eight outings.
Valenzuela shot 7-of-20 from the charity stripe, good for just 35 percent, while Pampanga converted 17 of its 27 attempts.
Michael Juico and Cruz finished with 17 points apiece for the Giant Lanterns while Travis Thompson chalked up 11 markers.
Ford Ruaya registered 16 points and 12 boards for the Classic, who slid to a 4-5 win-loss slate. Justin Valencia