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San Juan mauls QC at home to stay in pace in race to the top

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA — The San Juan Knights scored an all-important home win in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup, blasting the Quezon City Capitals, 68-50, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Monday night.

San Juan shut QC down in the second and the third quarters, limiting the visiting side to a combined 18 points in the middle periods en route to the blowout.

The Knights had an early breakaway threat in the first quarter, going on a 12-0 run to take a 17-8 advantage with only 56 seconds left in the first period.

The Capitals closed out the quarter with five unanswered points to trim the lead to four, 17-13, entering the second.

San Juan finally pulled away in the next quarter, starting it with a 10-0 blast to open a 27-13 advantage and eventually limiting QC to just eight second quarter points.

While scoring slowed down in the third, the Knights opened their largest lead at 23, 47-24, and never looked back, eventually conceding just 10 Capitals points in the said quarter.

John Wilson made 13 points, six rebounds, one assist, and one steal for the Knights, who moved up to 18-5, a half-game behind the Makati Skyscrapers for third place in the Northern Division, one game behind the Manila Stars for second, and two games behind the Bataan Risers for first place.

Joseph Ubalde added nine points, one rebound, and one assist off the bench.

San Juan’s last hurrah to take at least a better playoff position continues on Feb. 19 against Mandaluyong at the San Andres Sports Complex here, right before Manila hosts Navotas.

Kim Medina made 11 markers, seven boards, three dimes, and one steal for the Capitals, who slid to 10-11, although they remain sixth in the North.

Box Scores:

San Juan 68 - Wilson 13, Ubalde 9, Ayon-Ayon 8, Muyang 7, Wamar 6, Cardona 6, Gabawan 4, Pelayo 4, Clarito 4, Isit 3, Rodriguez 2, Parala 2, Marquez 0, Reyes 0, Rios 0

Quezon City 50 - Medina 11, Alday 8, Tayongtong 8, Castro 7, Barua 7, Mabayo 6, Cantos 3, Santos 0, Sison 0, Collado 0, Raflores 0, Nolasco 0, Santiago 0

Quarterscores: 17-13, 36-21, 50-31, 68-50

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno