Knights, Athletics rev up drives
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

PASIG, Philippines — San Juan and Batangas thwarted separate rivals while Pampanga cruised to victory in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The San Juan Knights quelled the Iloilo United Royals’ final rally to prevail, 70-67, and tighten their grip of the lead in the North division with a 24-3 record.

Just when the Knights were in cruise control, 67-55, the Royals sprang to life with a 12-1 blast, five from Rey Publico, and threatened at 68-67 with still 59 seconds to go. The Royals had a chance to go up, but Aaron Jeruta’s floater got blocked by Michael Ayonayon. 

The Batangas City Athletics, on the other hand, relied on Rey Suerte to turn back the pesky Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines, 72-68, and boost their playoffs drive in the South with a 15-11 slate.

Powered by Mark Cruz’s triple-double, the Pampanga Giant Lanterns pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 90-70 rout of the Rizal Xentro Mall Golden Coolers and a playoffs berth in the North.  

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