Davao Occidental, San Juan dispute MPBL title
(Philstar.com) - April 24, 2019 - 2:15pm

Game Thursday
(Rizal Memorial College Gym)
7 p.m. – Davao Occidental vs San Juan

MANILA, Philippines – For the last time this season, Davao Occidental and San Juan will clash for the right to become the first ever national champion of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Both squads collide at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the winner-take-all Game Five of their national finals series to be played at the Rizal Memorial College in Davao City. The Cocolife-backed Tigers denied the Go-For-Gold-supported Knights a grand party right at their homecourt following a 77-66 win in Game Four, sending the series back to the south.

With momentum on their side, the Tigers are hoping to win that crowning jewel that would make the entire province of Davao proud.

But momentum doesn’t guarantee Davao Occidental a win and head coach Don Dulay knows it too well.

“We still need to go out there and play. We just have to take it from them,” added Dulay. “Yes, playing in front of our home crowd would be nice, but the outcome still depends on us. We just have to do our part.”

This means Davao Occidental will need another collective effort from Billy Robles, Eman Calo, Leo Najorda, big man Bogs Raymundo and Finals MVP-candidate Mark Yee to put themselves in a better position to beat the Knights.

The Knights, on the other hand, will have to play it the right way, and that is involving everybody on the groove of things — from gunners John Wilson and Mac Cardona, big men Larry Rodriguez and Larry Muyang, high-leaping guard Mike Ayonayon and  spitfire guard Orlan Wamar.    

MPBL founder and chief executive officer Sen, Manny Pacquiao is going to award the multi-million golden trophy to the champion squad and ball rings to the key members of the champion squad and he will be joined in the awarding ceremony by league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

Also to be feted Thursday night are the Finals MVP and the Coach of the Year.

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