MPBL: San Juan cruises to victory over Marikina; Makati suffers rare loss

Bob Guerrero on Sep 03, 2019 09:40 AM
MPBL: San Juan cruises to victory over Marikina
"Mas agresibo sila noong first half. May inadjust lang kami sa defense kaya kami nanalo." San Juan Knight Jessie Saitanan.

San Juan Knights - Go For Gold bucked a sluggish start to assert their dominance over the Marikina Shoemasters, 87-73 in Monday night action at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

An appreciative crowd of San Juan fans at the Filoil Flying V Centre witnessed their side remain atop the MPBL standings with an 11-1 slate while the Shoemasters are holding up the North Division table at 1-11.

Marikina did give the San Juaneños a scare in the first half before the Knights took control. "Mas agresibo sila noong first half. May inadjust lang kami sa defense kaya kami nanalo," explained Knight Jessie Saitanan, whose 12-point, 3-rebound night's work earned him a player of the game commendation off the bench.

Marikina was up at the half 42-39 thanks to Von Tambeling's 11 first-half points.

But San Juan awakened in the third with a stunning 15-2 run for a 51-44 lead midway through the quarter. Mac Cardona, John Wilson, Saitanan, and Jeffrey Tajonera all made contributions to the streak. By the end of the third the Knights were in front 63-55.

There was no let up in the final period as San Juan dashed hopes of a Marikina comeback with 11 points in that quarter from John Wilson, who finished with 25. Mac Cardona also came up large in the final ten minutes with six markers.

Yves Sazon's 23 points led Marikina while Tambeling was unable to score a single point in the second half.

In the day's first encounter the Bulacan Kuyas ended Makati Super Crunch's five-game win streak with a gritty 76-74 victory.

Dan Sara shone for the Central Luzon side with 24 points including four triples from nine attempts.

The Bulakeños were firmly in command at the half and even until the end of the third, when they were up 59-52. But Super Crunch sprung to life in the early 4th quarter, when a pair of John Rey Villanueva three-bombs granted them a 61-60 lead. Villanueva finished with 18 points.

The see-saw battle continued into the final seconds, when, down 74-75, Makati's Cedric Ablaza faced a pair of charities. He mangled both, and an ensuing split from the line from Shaq Taganas finished the scoring. Taganas was magnificent on the boards, hauling down 15 rebounds for the Kuyas.

The scalp gives Kerwin McCoy's squad a 7-5 record while Cholo Villanueva's team is now at 9-2, a game and a half behind North Division-leading San Juan.

The middle match-up of Monday's sked saw the Basilan Steel - Jumbo Plastic throttle the Muntinlupa Cagers - Angelis Resort 90-79.

The game was close in the fourth quarter until the Steel's Gab Danganon delivered a dagger triple with just under a minute to go for an unassailable 84-76 advantage. Basilan outscored Muntinlupa 27-18 in the payoff quarter. Chris Dumapig's 17-point, 12-rebound haul led the Steel while Angelis Resort's playing coach Dave Moralde topped Muntinlupa's scoring charts, also with 17.

Munti's 36 percent shooting night doomed them to another loss and a 3-10 slate while Basilan remains on course for a playoff spot with an 8-4 record.

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