MANILA – Pampanga moved to within a win from the National Basketball League (NBL) championship after romping La Union, 82-73, in Game 3 of their best-of-five finals series at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Pampanga on Monday night.

The Delta held the Power to just 14 points in the second quarter to spark their breakaway that saw them leading by as much as 19 points.

Michael Juico exploded for 26 points on 7-of-10 field goals including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc aside from two rebounds and two assists for Pampanga, which is now up, 2-1, in the series.

Levi Hernandez added 16 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, five rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

CJ Gania, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the season earlier in the night, only had one point, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Gania was joined in the Mythical Five by teammate Encho Serrano, who was not available in the series due to his amateur status, La Union’s Mitchelle Maynes, Paranaque’s Salvador Galit, and CamSur’s Jonathan Del Rosario

Roman Gatchallan dropped 23 markers on 4-of-9 shooting from long range, two rebounds, two assists, and six steals for La Union.

Maynes had his own post-individual award jitters too, only making five points on 1-for-9 shooting, but he had seven rebounds, one assist, and four blocks.

Jayson Apolonio somehow lived up to his Defensive Player of the Year tag, grabbing six rebounds and two blocks on top of his 14 points.

Ervin Silverie, who was given the Huwarang Homegrown Player award, equivalent to the Sportsmanship Award, was held scoreless in 19 minutes of play although he got seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals.

The Delta can clinch the championship on Wednesday night, when they meet again for Game 4 at the said arena. (PNA)