Defending champion San Juan-Go for Gold used a huge payoff period run to maul third seed Makati-Super Crunch, 76-60, to take Game One of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan North Division Finals, Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Trailing 46-51 late in the third period, San Juan unleashed 10 unanswered points to end the quarter ahead, 56-51.
The Knights then wreaked havoc defensively in the fourth frame. They limited Makati to just a field goal and a freebie in the first 8:08 of the period, while scoring 15 to build a 16-point advantage with 1:52 left, 71-55.
“Noong halftime, sabi ko lang pantayan o higitan pa namin ‘yung energy ng Makati para makuha namin ‘yung panalo,” said Knights coach Randy Alcantara.
Jhonard Clarito was solid in the paint, just missing a 20-20 game with 19 points and 18 rebounds, alongside four assists and two steals.
San Juan moved to 10-0 when playing on their home turf.
Datu Cup Finals MVP Mike Ayonayon had 13 markers, six boards, three dimes, a steal and a block. Meanwhile, John Wilson added 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Cedric Ablaza paced Makati with 11 points. Joseph Sedurifa and Rudy Lingganay punched in 10 markers apiece.
On the other hand, Joshua Torralba only got seven points on a dismal 3-of-13 clip.
The Knights look to close out the series on Wednesday at the Makati Coliseum.
San Juan-Go for Gold 76 – Clarito 19, Ayonayon 13, Wilson 11, Estrella 9, Wamar 8, Tajonera 6, Pelayo 5, Reyes 4, Gabawan 2, Isit 0, Victoria 0.
Makati-Super Crunch 60 – Ablaza 11, Sedurifa 10, Lingganay 10, Torralba 7, Apinan 7, Villanueva 6, Morales 3, Atkins 2, Baloria 2, Manlangit 2, Asoro 0, Cayanan 0, Importante 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 24-11, 38-35, 56-51, 76-60.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photos by Thel Suliva
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