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San Juan pips Parañaque in MPBL

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MANILA — San Juan Knights remained unbeaten at home in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup after taking down the Parañaque Patriots, 87-77, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Wednesday night.

The Knights slowly pulled away from the Patriots and eventually opened an 18-point lead en route to their sixth straight win at home.

However, emotions rose up late in the game, leading to a technical and an unsportsmanlike foul slapped on Parañaque.

Larry Rodriguez came up with 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal for San Juan, which tied Manila for second place in the Northern Division at 17-4, one game behind Bataan for first place.

Mac-Mac Cardona added 17 points, one rebound, seven assists, and six steals, while Larry Muyang put up 11 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks.

Pao Castro’s 25-point explosion came up short as Parañaque fell to 10th place in the Southern Division at 8-12.

In the first game, Rizal Crusaders pulled off a huge surprise after it blasted Imus Bandera, 85-73.

The Crusaders, currently in last place in the Southern Division, turned on the jets in the first half, opening a 51-30 halftime lead, before holding off the now reeling Bandera.

Eric dela Cuesta turned back time with an 18-point, six-rebound, seven-assist, and three-steal showing for Rizal, which moved up to 6-15, keeping its flickering playoff hopes alive.

Jerome Juanico put up an impressive all-around game of 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three blocks.

Wilson Baltazar made 15 markers, seven boards, one dime, and one steal for Imus, which failed to tie GenSan for fourth place in the South and instead fell back at 9-10. (PNA)