Photo from MPBL


San Juan tops Davao Occidental in rematch of last year’s MPBL finalists

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 18, 2020 10:14pm

In what was like a rematch of last year’s Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup Finals, San Juan topped Davao Occidental, 84-65, on Saturday in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo City.

Ex-Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player John Wilson, who recently became the first MPBL cager to reach 1000 points, led the Knights with 14 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.

Orlan Wamar also came through for the defending champions, putting up 15 points and two rebounds.

PBA Draftees Renzo Subido and Mike Ayonayon also played well, with the former turning in 11 points and three assists and the latter tallying nine markers, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Also ex-pro Larry Rodriguez chipped in six points and eight caroms for San Juan which notched its third straight win and improved to a 23-3 slate -the best record in the North Division team standings and all of the league.

"Siyempre, nagulat kami sa maagang lamang, pero lumaban kami sa depensa, sa dikdikan. Naka-match kami, naka-execute at gumana ang depensa namin," said Knights head coach Randy Alcantara post-game.

San Juan broke the game wide open with a 13-0 run capped by a Jhonard Clarito layup to turn an eight-point, 65-57 lead into an insurmountable 21-point, 78-57 advantage with 3:54 left in the fourth quarter.

Ex-pro Mark Yee paced the Tigers with a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds on top of two assists, while Yvan Ludovice produced 14 points and two rebounds.

Another ex-pro in Billy Robles scored six points only, but pulled down 14 boards, blocked four shots, and dished out two assists in the loss that snapped Davao’s five-game winning run.

The Tigers fell to a 21-4 slate, but still at the top of the South, half a game ahead of the second-running Bacoor Strikers, who have a 21-5 slate.

After Davao took a 5-0 lead to start the game, San Juan turned the tide to its favor with a massive 31-8 assault capped by a Wamar jumper to grab a 31-13 lead with 8:51 remaining in the second quarter and settle with the same buffer at the half, 49-31.

The Tigers slowly trimmed the lead down, getting as close as 12 points, 51-63, at the end of the third period and eight points, 75-67, at the 6:05 mark of the final canto.

From there, however, the Knights unleashed the back-breaking 13-0 rally to cruise to the win.


The Scores:

San Juan 84 - Wamar 15, Wilson 14, Subido 11, Ayonayon 9, Clarito 9, Tajonera 9, Rodriguez 6, Isit 4, Estrella 4, Reyes 2, Aquino 1, Victoria 0, Bonifacio 0, Pelayo 0, Bunag 0.

Davao Occidental 65 - Ludovice 14, Yee 14, Gaco 9, Calo 8, Robles 6, Balagtas 5, Albo 3, Mocon 2, Bonleon 2, Forrester 1, Raymundo 1, Saldua 0, Dumagan 0, Adormeo 0.

Quarters: 26-13, 49-31, 63-51, 84-65.

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