NBL PH: Pampanga takes top-seed
PAMPANGA clinched the top spot in the playoffs with a 95-80 win over Zambales Converge last Saturday in the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 2 at the Botolan Peoples’ Plaza in Botolan, Zambales.
CJ Gania had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Delta to the first-seed in the playoffs as they will have a homecourt advantage until the finals.
Pampanga and reigning champion Paranaque are tied with an 11-3 record but the Delta got the top seed due to the winner-over-the-other rule. The Delta and the Aces have also clinched the two outright semifinal berths by finishing in the top two.
Zambales Converge, meanwhile, completed the cast in the playoffs after beating Imus, 95-79, last Sunday in front of its home fans also at the Botolan Peoples’ Plaza.
Allen Fomera had 30 points, as Lyndon Del Rosario added 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Fiber X Men, who improved their record to 9-5.
The Fiber X Men clinched the sixth seed in the playoffs where they will meet Iriga City Oragons in a knockout game for a quarterfinal berth on Sunday.
Iriga City clinched the seventh seed after winning over the Zamboanga Valientes, 97-68, with Paul Guiruela scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the win.
Christian Diaz scored the game-winning lay-up as also-ran Quezon City edged Dasmarinas, 81-78, as the Rising Stars finished the elimination round with a 6-8 record, while eliminating the Ballers Club from playoff contention.
Fifth-seed CamSur will face eighth-ranked Imus in the other knockout game for the quarterfinal spot also on September 1.
The winners in the knockout games will face third-seed Taguig or fourth-ranked Laguna in the quarterfinals with the Generals and the Pistons holding a twice-to-beat advantage.