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Nueva Ecija escapes San Juan's Q4 push to win PSL semis opener

Nueva Ecija pummeled San Juan in the third quarter before holding them off in the fourth. LA Arcin
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN—Nueva Ecija built a huge cushion after three quarters enough to withstand San Juan's fourth-quarter comeback bid en route to a 95-86 win at the start of the PSL semifinals on Tuesday night at the Alonte Sports Arena here.

The Capitals exploded for 35 points in the third quarter to open an 82-55 lead against the Kings entering the fourth.

San Juan, however, opened the fourth quarter on a 23-5 run to cut the lead down to nine, 87-78, with 4:46 remaining.

It was all the Kings could crawl back from, though, as the Capitals held on until the end.

Byron Villarias led Nueva Ecija with 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while Will McAloney added 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

John Galinato put up 21 points, five rebounds, and two assists, while Orlan Wamar added 20 points, two rebounds, 11 assists, and four steals for San Juan, which will host Game 2 of their best-of-three series on Thursday night.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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