When it’s crunch time, the San Juan Knights can always lean on John Wilson.
Showing vintage form, Wilson scored the Knights’ last 12 points in overtime. He finished with 44, a new Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League record, as they bested the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, 102-97, on Tuesday at the packed Angeles University Foundation Gym
Wilson, the NCAA Season 85 MVP with the JRU Heavy Bombers, made 5-of-9 two-point attempts and 9-of-17 triples. He also sank all of his seven free throws to power the Knights to a pace-setting 13-1 record in the North division of the Lakan Season.
Wilson shattered the 41 points of Leomer Losentes of the General Santos Warriors
Skywalker Mike Ayonayon came in support with 24 points plus 12 rebounds, followed by Jhonard Clarito with 15 and 12, respectively.
The Giant Lanterns — who forced overtime at 85 following a layup by Dexter Maiquez with 33 seconds to go — dropped to 9-5.
Maiquez wound up with 24 points while Levi Hernandez, Reil Cervantes, and Michael Juico posted 14 each.
Meanwhile, the Davao Occidental Tigers cruised to an 88-76 victory over the Bicol Volcanoes earlier.
Mark Yee scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his 29th MPBL double-double. He lifted the Cocolife-backed Tigers to a 12-2 card in the South division of the 31-team league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with Kenneth Duremdes as commissioner.
Other major contributors for the Tigers, who controlled the boards, 42-27, were Emman Calo with 15 points; Bogs Raymundo with 11; and Chester Saldua with 10.
Basilan Steel shrugged off a sluggish start to beat Imus Bandera, 96-85, in the opener and rise to 9-5.
Trailing, 29-48, in the second quarter, the Jumbo Plastics-supported Steel leaned on Jay Collado, Cris Dumapig, and Jerald Bautista. The trio fired six points each in the third quarter to seize control, 74-68, until the end.
Collado wound up with 17 points, while Dumapig tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds. Bautista finished with eight points for the Steel being mentored by Jerson Cabiltes.
The Bandera absorbed their fourth straight loss and fell to 3-11 despite seven players tallying twin digits. They were led by Jayjay Helterbrand and John Cantimbuhan with 13 points apiece.
Actor Gerald Anderson tallied 11 points.
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