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San Juan repulses Navotas, sets up North semis clash with QC

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—San Juan booked the fourth ticket to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League divisional semifinals after ousting Navotas, 75-69, in Game 2 of their first round series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Monday night.

The Knights were solid defensively for most of the game, but they still had to withstand one last push from the Clutch to sweep the best-of-three series.

San Juan limited Navotas to only 11 points in the first quarter and 26 at halftime and was on pace of scoring the blowout at home after opening a 16-point lead, 63-47, with 8:10 to play.

However, the Clutch came alive late in the game, cutting the lead down to four, 73-69, with 43.6 seconds left.

They even had a chance to cut it further after Donald Gumaru stole the ball off the inbound pass from Mike Ayonayon, but Gumaru, after a tight defense, threw the ball to John Wilson, who sealed the win with two free throws.

Wilson and Mac-Mac Cardona each made 13 points for San Juan, which will next face Quezon City, 77-74 winner over Makati in the first game to sweep their own series, in the North semis.

Michole Sorela posted 14 markers, four rebounds, two assists, and three steals for Navotas.

Marlon Gomez grabbed 20 rebounds with 12 points, one assist, one block, and one steal.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno