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Ayonayon takes over as San Juan ties MPBL Finals series

SUBIC — San Juan-Go for Gold avenged its Game One loss yesterday by thwarting Davao Occidental-Cocolife, 70-65, to knot the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan National Finals at one game apiece, Thursday at the Subic Bay Gymnasium here.

Trailing 43-50 midway through the third period, the Knights went on a huge 20-5 run into the fourth quarter. They turned the tables with a scoring streak capped by John Wilson’s triple at the 4:14 mark, 63-55. Mike Ayonayon had nine of his 15 points during that spirited rally.

Two free throws from Emman Calo got the Tigers to within four, 64-60, with 2:26 left. That would be the closest they got, though, until the waning seconds of the game.

“Tinake namin ito as parang knockout game na talaga kasi kung ma 0-2 kami, mahirap nang makabawi. Siyempre ‘yung fatigue [factor din] eh, kasi diba magkakasunod ang laro?” said San Juan head coach Randy Alcantara.

Wilson, who came off the bench, topscored for the defending champions with 17 points. He had three triples with three rebounds and two steals.

On top of his scoring output, Ayonayon also had nine assists, two steals, and two blocks. Meanwhile, Jhonard Clarito just missed out on a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Calo led all scorers with 26 markers, including the last 10 Davao points, five rebounds, and four steals.

Mark Yee contributed 13 points and 10 boards, but went just 2-of-11 from the field. Billy Robles, meanwhile, tallied 11 markers and 10 rebounds.

Game Three is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

#ReadMore  Japeth Aguilar looks back on off-season: ‘Actually, I’m not supposed to be here’

The Scores:

San Juan 70 Wilson 17, Ayonayon 15, Clarito 9, Rodriguez 8, Gabawan 4, Reyes 4, Wamar 3, Isit 3, Pelayo 3, Estrella 3, Tajonera 1, Aquino 0, Buñag 0, Marquez 0.

Davao Occidental 65 – Calo 26, Yee 13, Robles 11, Balagtas 6, Mocon 2, Custodio 2, Gaco 2, Albo 1, Ludovice 1, Terso 1, Raymundo 0, Bonleon 0.

Quarterscores: 15-15, 38-37, 52-50, 70-65.

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