BOLSTERED by a big win in the opener of the Big Dance, the Pampanga G Lanterns try to finish off defending champion Davao Occidental-Cocolife today in Game 2 of their best-of-3 finals showdown for the Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup title at the RMC Gymnasium in Davao City.
The match is set at 6 p.m., with the wards of coach and Pampanga governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda raring to do an encore to a thrilling 87-84 triumph in Game 1 last Monday and wrap up the race-to-2 series to reach the Promised Land.
Down but not out, the Tigers are equally determined to get back at the G Lanterns and forge a deciding tiff for all the marbles.
A do-or-die third game, if necessary, will be on Sunday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Pineda insisted Davao Occidental is far from done in the tourney presented by Dumper party-list, Winzir, and Skin Care Depot, co-presented by SCD Cosmetics, and supported by NET 25, Adcon, Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton, with PBA and Gilas Pilipinas great Marc Pingris serving as Commissioner.
“Sinabi ko sa mga bata na to pray and tandaan nila na maraming Kapampangan ang nagdadasal para sa amin. I told them we don’t need to give up. Champion team ang kalaban natin pero hindi puwedeng magtiwala,” Pineda said. “We need to do our best and lahat tayo kailangang tumulong especially on defense.”
“Champion team iyan, hindi ibig sabihin na tinalo namin ang San Juan (in the semifinals) ay kakayanin namin ang Davao. Heart of a champion ay nasa Davao,” he added.
The likes of ace big man Justine Baltazar, who dropped 31 points and 21 rebounds in Game 1, King Caralipio, Kurt Reyson, Louie Sangalang, and Archie Concepcion are expected to carry the fight anew for the G Lanterns.
The Tigers will rely on former PBA players John Wilson, Larry Rodriguez, Renzo Subido and Keith Agovida and Gab Dagangon and Marco Balagtas in their bid to sustain their title dreams.