It's Davao Occidental vs San Juan for MPBL Datu Cup title
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 09, 2019 03:52 PM
The MPBL will be crowning a new champion
San Juan held Manila to just two field goals in the third period to turn a tight encounter into a rout on its way to an 85-74 victory in the third and deciding game of their MPBL Datu Cup northern division finals at home in the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Knights’ defense worked double time and made their rivals bleed for every point. The most notable victims of that were Riel Cervantes and Chris Bitoon, the Stars' two most dependable players, who were grounded in the most crucial game of the series.
After playing the role as clutch performer in two of his team’s last three wins, Cervantes suddenly turned cold, missing all of his five attempts from the field and going on to finish the game scoreless.
Bitoon, the steadiest player on Manila’s side, struggled as well as he went only 3-for-9 from the field.
With their defense well taken care of, San Juan used balance at the other end.
Orlan Wamar had a breakout game while Mac Cardona had another solid output as the Knights claimed the north division championship on their way to setting up a much awaited encounter with the Davao Occidental Tigers in the best-of-five National Finals.
Wamar, an off the bench guard, finished with 19 points, his most productive output while playing for the Randy Alcantara-mentored Knights.
Cardona, on the other hand, got the better end of the match up with his fellow ex-PBA players in unloading 18 markers.
Over at the Almendras Gym in Davao City, the Tigers ousted inaugural staging champion Batangas City Athletics, 66-51, and made sure that there will be a new MPBL titlist by the season ends.
Eman Calo came through five crucial points in the fourth period to weather a huge rally by Batagas City and carried Davao Occidental in winning the southern division championship.