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San Juan holds on vs. Davao Occ to tie MPBL Finals

John Wilson led the Knights' charge off the bench. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It was San Juan's turn to stay put despite another tight finale as the team pipped Davao Occidental, 70-65, in Game 2 of the MPBL Finals at the Subic Bay Gymnasium on Thursday night.

Unlike in Wednesday's Game 1 where the Tigers came back from 11 points down to steal the win in overtime, the Knights held on this time as they tied the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

Down 43-50 in the third quarter, San Juan went on a 17-2 run spanning through the fourth quarter to take a 60-52 lead with 6:04 left.

The team, however, struggled in closing the game out, and Eman Calo eventually scored five straight points to cut the lead down to four, 64-60, with 2:24 to go.

Calo was the only Davao Occidental player to deliver in the end, though, even as CJ Isit and Larry Rodriguez connived in making crucial stops for San Juan.

Aware of the daily game setup of the series, Coach Randy Alcantara had his key Knights play off the bench, but they still delivered as John Wilson led them with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block.

Mike Ayonayon also played a great supersub performance as he added 15 points, two rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Calo's 26-point blast on 7-of-13 shooting and 9-of-10 free throws went down the drain as the Tigers failed to open a commanding 2-0 lead.

Game 3 will be played on Saturday.

The scores:

SAN JUAN 70 – Wilson 17, Ayonayon 15, Clarito 9, Rodriguez 8, Reyes 4, Gabawan 4, Isit 3, Wamar 3, Estrella 3, Pelayo 3, Tajonera 1, Aquino 0, Bunag 0, Marquez 0

DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 65 – Calo 26, Yee 13, Robles 11, Balagtas 6, Mocon 2, Custodio 2, Gaco 2, Terso 1, Ludovice 1,  Albo 1, Raymundo 0, Bonleon 0

Quarterscores: 15-15, 38-37, 52-50, 70-65

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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