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Abando makes MPBL debut, powers San Juan rout of Sarangani


San Juan-Go for Gold AICC breezed past Sarangani, 91-72, for its second win in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM, Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Jhonard Clarito and Jason Melano took control of the paint for the Knights. The former had 14 points and 10 rebounds while the latter finished with 14 markers as well to go along with nine rebounds.

San Juan pulled away as early as the third quarter, putting up a 10-point cushion, 62-52, to enter the fourth frame.

From there, the Knights turned the game into a one-sided affair with Arvin Gamboa chalking up San Juan’s biggest advantage at 19 points, 87-68, with 1:58 remaining in the match.

“Number one is our defense plus naexecute namin yung offense saka yung mga beterano na leader namin napupush talaga yung mga bata na alam mo yung pag sinabing San Juan basketball talagang dapat dikdikin mo sa depensa plus yung offense mo darating ‘yan ‘wag mo hanapin so ayun yung nangyari ngayon,” said San Juan head coach Randy Alcantara.

“Nung first quarter kasi parang gigil lahat umiscore e, tumira so nung second half nabago namin. Nung start ng second quarter nabago namin. Gumana yung depensa namin sa poste, transition, mismatches lahat yun nakita namin,” added Alcantara.

Arvin Gambo delivered 12 points and seven rebounds for the Knights while Rhenz Abando ended up with 10 points — all coming from the charity stripe — five boards and four blocks.

Orlan Wamar, who put up a tournament-high 27 points in the Knights’ opening day win against Val City, was limited to just five points in the contest. He also had five rebounds and three assists.

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San Juan took the solo top spot with a 2-0 record while Sarangani dropped to a 0-2 slate at the bottom of the standings. Nueva Ecija (1-0) is currently at the second spot while Val City (0-1) is at the fourth seat.

Leading the way for the Marlins are Marvin Lee, Gabby Espinas, and Macky Acosta with 14 points each.

San Juan will continue its hot start against Muntinlupa on Friday at 7:30 PM while Sarangani will try to bounce back also against Muntinlupa on Wednesday at 9:30 PM.

The Scores:

San Juan (91) – Melano 14, Clarito 14, Gamboa 12, Abando 10, Wamar 9, Hernandez 8, Isit 7, Rodriguez 6, Calma 6, Abundo 5, Manzo 0, Buñag 0

Sarangani (72) – Espinas 14, Acosta 14, Lee 14, Ludovice 11, Sanga 7, Sta. Ana 6, Basibas 3, Munsayac 3, Sarangay 0, Marilao 0, Monteclaro 0, Bautista 0

Quarterscores: 19-20, 35-28, 62-52, 91-72

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