PAMPANGA rode a fourth-quarter run to rout Imus, 83-62, on Saturday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Powered by Jayson Apolonio, Earnest Reyes and Archie Concepcion, the Giant Lanterns took the fight out of the Bandera, 74-54, en route to their fifth straight win and a 9-4 record in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
With Apolonio dropping 10 of his 13 points, Pampanga padded the spread to 83-60 and handed Imus its 9th loss in 12 starts.
Concepcion wound up with 17 points, but it was Apolonio who put up the better overall performance with 14 rebounds and 6 assists for the Giant Lanterns, owned by Cong. Dong Gonzales and mentored by Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda.
Earnest Reyes and Dominick Reyes also contributed for Pampanga with 11 points each.Pampanga ruled the boards, 57-46, which it exploited to score 50 points inside the paint while holding Imus to just 18 points.
Imus drew 18 points from Leo Najorda and 13 from Jeymark Mallari.
Rizal Xentromall trounced Bacolod Bingo Plus, 67-57, in the opener while General Santos dumped Mindoro, 105-64 in the second game.
The Rizal Golden Coolers, who got 16 points each from Laurenz Paul Victoria and Troy Mallillin and 12 from Keanu Caballero, climbed to 8-4.
Bacolod tumbled to 7-6 as only Alwyn Alday could tally twin digits with 12.
The GenSan Warriors improved to 8-5 behind the 14-point effort of Jaypee Belencion, the 12-point output of Marlon Gomez, 11 each from Nikko Panganiban and Jan Mark Baltazar and 10 from Michole Sorela.
Mindoro, which got 15 points from Aga Bernal, 13 from Marlon Espiritu and 11 from Khen Osicos, skidded to 1-13.
The MPBL goes to the newly renovated San Andres Sports Complex this season with a triple-bill on Monday.
Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines, toting a 9-3 slate, tackles Laguna (1-11) at 5 p.m., followed by the San Juan (7-6)-Marikina (3-9) tussle at 7 p.m. and the Manila (6-8)-Pasig (6-5) collision at 9 p.m.