Batangas, San Juan stay alive for MPBL Finals berths

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 07, 2019 05:32 PM
Batangas, San Juan stay alive for MPBL Finals berths
Batangas and San Juan came through in their do-or-die games

Inaugural staging champion Batangas City and San Juan scored similar hard-earned wins last Saturday against theirrespective division finals rivals in the MPBL Datu Cup held at two separate venues.

The Athletics had to content themselves playing at their adopted venue at La Salle Sentrum in Lipa City before needing an extra period to pull off a pulsating 76-74 win over the Davao Occidental Tigers. 

Jeff Viernes and Jhaymo Eguilos struggled, but managed to find ways to help Batangas keep its postseason campaign alive.

Viernes scored the last five points of the Athletics and lifted the team to victory. He was able to score most of his points from the free throw area where he hit an impeccable 10-of-11 to wind up with 20 points 

His long-time teammate, Eguilos, also struggled from the field, hitting only 2-of-9, but shot a steady 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He finished with a double-double of 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Ex-pros Denice Villamor and Val Acuna also stepped up to the challenge and produced 15 points apiece for Batangas City.

Like Batangas City, San Juan also lived for another day as they edged out the Manila Stars, 92-90, at San Andres Gym.

John Wilson was a steady presence all game long, finishing with 18 points, while Jhonard Clarito stepped up big and played his best game of the tournament, adding 16 markers and seven rebounds,

Both the Knights and the Athletics now head into do-or-die matches against the Stars and the Tigers, respectively.

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