REIGNING champions San Juan-Go for Gold destroyed the undermanned Makati Super Crunch, 131-54, in the deciding game of the North Division finals to advance to the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan National Finals on Wednesday, March 10, at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.
San Juan will face the winner of the Southern division finals between Davao Occidental-Cocolife and Basilan-Jumbo Plastic.
With the core of the Makati squad having salary issues with the team’s management, Makati was left with only five players, namely, David Carlos, Edwin Asoro, Bhabap Sta. Maria, Carlo Lloren, and Kako Morales.
San Juan then showed no mercy and opened the game with a 15-0 blitz and never looked back.
"Sinabi ko sa mga players huwag tumingin kung sino ang kalaban namin. Ipinakita ng mga players na hindi sila nag-relax, nag-effort pa rin sila para makita na convincing win talaga," relayed Knights head coach Randy Alcantara after the match.
San Juan limited Makati to just six points in the second frame that led to a 64-17 halftime lead. Ced Pelayo's three pointer at the 4:38 mark of the fourth quarter gave San Juan its largest lead of the match at 78, 119-41.
Mike Ayonayon recorded his very first triple-double in the MPBL with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Knights.
San Juan’s top gun John Wilson led the way for the Knights with 22 markers on a very efficient 9-of-11 shooting clip, while Jhonard Clarito got 20 points and 13 boards in just 16 minutes.
The 77-point win by San Juan was a new league-record, surpassing the 53-point win of Bacoor against Parañaque on August 27, 2019, 109-56.
Edwin Asoro led the shorthanded Super Crunch with 21 points while Sta. Maria chipped in 14 markers.
San Juan 131 -- Wilson 22, Clarito 20, Wamar 14, Ayonayon 10, Gabawan 9, Pelayo 9, Rodriguez 8, Buñag 8, Ubalde 8, Aquino 6, Isit 5, Reyes 4, Marquez 4, Tajonera 2, Estrella 2.
Makati 54 -- Asoro 21, Sta. Maria 14, Carlos 9, Morales 6, Lloren 4
Quarterscores: 38-11, 64-17, 94-36, 131-54.