By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Rizal pulled a huge upset in the MPBL Datu Cup, downing San Juan, 85-77, at the Trinity University of Asia's Henry Noble Gymnasium in Quezon City on Tuesday night.
The Crusaders put up an impressive defensive effort on the Knights in the second quarter, limiting them to just 10 points while taking a 34-30 halftime lead.
Rizal then sizzled offensively in the third quarter, dropping 26 points en route to a 60-51 advantage.
San Juan still tried to stay close in the final period, but a huge 9-1 run put the game away for Rizal despite the former still making a push in the end.
Marco Balagtas made 16 points, nine rebounds, and three assists off the bench to lead the Crusaders, who moved into a tie with the Basilan Steel for 11th place in the Southern Division at 4-7, a game behind the GenSan Warriors for eighth place.
John Wilson put up 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Knights, which failed to tie the Bataan Risers on top of the Northern Division and instead fell to a tie with the Manila Stars for second place at 8-2.
The result opened an opportunity for Manila to go to second place in the North standings as it plays at Muntinlupa on Wednesday night.
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