STA. ROSA, Laguna – San Juan's early silencing of Laguna turned out to be enough as the latter made things interesting in the fourth quarter only to fall short and the former won on the road, 78-68, in their MPBL Saturday night game at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex here.
Taking quick control of the game, the Knights raced to a lead as high as 27 points, 69-42, late in the third quarter.
However, the Heroes responded with a 17-2 run spanning through the midway part of the fourth quarter that cut the lead down to 12, 71-59.
Back-to-back baskets from Michael Calisaan seemed to have doused cold water on Laguna's endgame attack as San Juan's lead was stretched back to 16, 75-59, but the home team responded with five straight points to draw them to within just 11, 64-75, with 1:47 left.
Judel Fuentes finally shut the door on the Heroes with the dagger three in the next play before the hosts scored the last four points of the game to keep the final margin respectable.
Calisaan finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, and four assists for San Juan, which moved up to 2-3 in the standings.
Orlan Wamar added 15 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc, seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
VJ Serios tallied 13 markers, six boards, one dime, one block, and two steals for Laguna, which failed to complete a comeback for the second straight game and dropped to 1-3.
Earlier in the night, Pampanga also moved up to 2-3 while dropping Quezon City to 0-2 with a 107-103 overtime win, and Zamboanga remained undefeated with a 98-71 win against Pasig.
Zamboanga showed a more solid offense than Pasig from the start until the end, especially when the former's defense worked wonders in the final three quarters.
Jaycee Marcelino led Zamboanga, now 5-0 in the standings and once again tied Sarangani and Batangas City on top of the South Division standings, with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and five steals.
Marcelino’s twin brother, Jayvee, added 17 even as Mon Mabayo also tallied the same number of points.
Jason Melano and Carlo Lastimosa each scored 19 points for Pasig, which fell to 3-2. (PNA)