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San Juan spoils Binan City's home return with late comeback

By Ivan Saldajeno

BIÑAN—Biñan City finally got to play again in its home, the newly-refurbished Alonte Sports Arena.

However, San Juan came to spoil the homecoming.

The Knights showed their championship poise on Tuesday night on the road, dealing the Heroes an 84-89 defeat.

San Juan was actually steady in the first half, opening its largest lead at 16 points, 39-23, late in the second quarter before entering halftime ahead, 43-33.

But Biñan City came alive in the third quarter to the delight of the home fans, dropping 31 points and trimming the lead to just one, 65-64, entering the fourth.

The home team made another rally early in the fourth, scoring eight straight points to take a 72-69 lead before stretching the gap to five, 77-72, with 6:01 to play.

But the visiting side responded with the game-deciding 13-3 run capped by eight unanswered points to seal the win.

The Heroes actually made one last scare as Tata Bautista scored on a right corner jumper with 10.1 seconds, but the Knights got a sigh of relief as the referees ruled his shot as a long two.

Larry Rodriguez made 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block for San Juan, which solidified its hold of the top spot in the North Division at 18-2, 1.5 games behind second placer Makati, 69-64 winner over Imus earlier in the night.

John Wilson and Andoy Estrella each added 16 points.

Paolo Pontejos put up 18 points, two rebounds, four assists, and two steals for Biñan City, which further slipped to 6-14, 4.5 games behind Bicol for eighth place or the last playoff spot in the South Division.

Macky Acosta chipped in 17 markers, five boards, and four dimes, while Allan Mangahas added a double-double of 11 points and 11 assists with six rebounds and two steals.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno