San Juan enters MPBL National Finals, rips five-man Makati
MANILA, Philippines — Merciless from start to finish, defending champion San Juan ripped a severely depleted Makati side, 131-54, Wednesday to make the 2021 MPBL Chooks-to-Go Lakan National Finals at Subic Bay Gymnasium.
The Knights scored 15 unanswered points to open the game as they faced little resistance from the Super Crunch, who only had five available players.
San Juan faces either the Basilan Steel or the Davao Occidental Tigers in a best-of-five National Finals.
“I told my players not to look down on our opponent. The players never relaxed and they showed their effort to get this convincing win,” said Knights head coach Randy Alcantara in Filipino.
Former PBA veteran John Wilson scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field for San Juan, which led by as many as 78, 119-41, with 4:38 left. Mike Ayonayon also shone with a triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Chooks-to-Go North Division Champion!San Juan Knights – Go for Gold 🏆❗️❗️❗️#ChooksMPBL #LigaNgBawatPilipino #mpblseasonender #subicbubble
The Knights pounced on the weary Super Crunch with 51 fastbreak points. They also assisted on 48 out of their 58 made field goals.
The 77-point victory is the biggest winning margin in league history, eclipsing Bacoor’s 53-point rout of Parañaque on Aug. 27, 2019.
Makati only had five homegrown players available led by former National University standout Edwin Asoro after the others refused to enter the Subic bubble due to issues with team management. Asoro led the Super Crunch with 21 points.
Ito na ang pinakahihintay ng lahat — ang pagbabalik ng Chooks-to-Go MPBL!Para sa unang laro, ito na ang do-or-die encounter ng San Juan Knights kontra Makati Super Crunch!Sino ang manok niyo, San Juan o Makati? Catch the game LIVE right here!👇#ChooksMPBL #ManokNiPacman❤️🇵🇭🙌
Posted by Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas on Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Bhabap Sta. Maria, who added 14 points, Carlo Lloren, Kako Morales and David Carlos were the other four who suited up for Makati.
Basilan and Davao Occidental were supposed to dispute the other finals slot later but two players from the Steel tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night.
The game has been moved to March 17 provided the entire Basilan team registers a negative result in its RT-PCR tests. A single positive would result in forfeiture with Davao Occidental advancing.
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