By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--San Juan moved to within a win from clinching the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League title after a 67-62 win against Davao Occidental in Game 3 of the best-of-five finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Tuesday night.
The Knights shut down the Tigers in the second and the fourth quarters to take a commanding 2-1 lead in the series ahead of the Holy Week break.
Looking to prove Coach Don Dulay's belief that there is no such thing as a homecourt advantage, Davao Occ raced to a 22-13 lead in the first quarter.
But San Juan responded with 18-7 second quarter to go up, 31-29, at halftime.
The Tigers came alive in the third quarter, scoring 24 points to retake the lead, 53-51, at the end of the third period.
But the Knights once again stifled them in the final frame, holding them to just nine points as they preserved the home win.
Mike Ayonayon provided the early spark for San Juan and finished with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Jhonard Clarito provided key baskets down the stretch and added 12 markers, 17 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two blocks.
John Wilson also had 12 points with seven rebounds and one steal.
Bogs Raymundo made 15 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal for Davao Occidental.
The Knights can close out the series at home in Game 4 on Monday night.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno