The San Juan-Go For Gold Knights bounced back from a tough loss in Game One by upending the Davao Occidental-Cocolife Tigers, 70-65, to tie the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan National Finals at one game apiece, on Thursday at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.
Down seven in the third period, the Knights woke up and unloaded a huge 20-5 run capped by a three-pointer by John Wilson that shoved them in front, 63-55, with 4:14 remaining in the game. The Tigers last threatened at 60-64 after two free-throws by Cebuano ace Emman Calo but that would be their last hurrah as the Knights kept their composure down the stretch.
“We took this game as a knockout game because if we fell behind, 0-2, it’s going to be tough to recover,” said San Juan head coach Randy Alcantara.
Wilson, who came off the bench, led the defending champions with 17 points built on three triples with three rebounds and two steals. Mike Ayonayon, the NLEX Road Warriors guard who was given permission to return to MPBL to finish out the season, had 15 points, nine assists, two steals and two blocks.
Calo, a product of the University of the Visayas, led all scorers with 26 markers, including the last 10 Davao points, five rebounds, and four steals.
Mark Yee contributed 13 points and 10 boards but went just 2-of-11 from the field while Billy Robles tallied 11 markers and 10 rebounds.
Game Three is scheduled to take place on Saturday. (JNP)