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PSL finals: Quezon gets back at Nueva Ecija to tie series in Game 2

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PSL finals: Quezon gets back at Nueva Ecija to tie series in Game 2
Robin Rono proves to be a game changer for Quezon in Game 2.
Pilipinas Super League

PALAYAN, Nueva Ecija – A reenergized Quezon squad showed up in Game 2 of their Pilipinas Super League President’s Cup best-of-five championship series against Nueva Ecija, as the Titans banked on their youth and relentless effort on the defensive end to outplay the undermanned Capitals, 83-75, at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum late Thursday night.

LJ Gonzales played solid on both ends of the floor as he finished with 16 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists while also doing a great job limiting the production of Game 1 hero Chris Bitoon.

Bitoon, Nueva Ecija’s main man at the point guard spot, had a quiet 11 markers.

Will Gozum and Judel Fuentes also imposed their will on the offensive, each scoring 17 points for the Titans, while Thomas Torres provided the extra firepower needed off the bench as he delivered 11 points.

But it was Robin Roño, a nearly forgotten man on the deep guard rotation of the Titans, who proved to be the game changer.

The veteran guard, who starred in the several teams he played for but was reduced to play a special role with Quezon, used his court smarts and energy in taking out the rhythm of ex-PBA player Michael Juico.

Juico was having great guns in the early goings, until Roño got into his head.

The 6-foot-1 guard produced nine points and appeared to be carrying the brunt of the offense, but chose to engage in skirmishes with Roño, who sacrificed his body while jostling for position with his bigger rival.

In the end, Roño got the better end of the matchup when he drew an unsportsmanlike foul on Juico, who was caught giving an uppercut to the midsection of his rival.

Upon review, Juico’s action merited a sanction of an unsportsmanlike foul and he was ejected from the game with still 3:25 left in the third period.

Down to only nine healthy players to carry the fight, the Capitals just didn’t have the legs to keep up with their young, more energetic rivals who were able to tie the series at 1-all as the next two games move to Quezon where the Titans have an opportunity of closing it out altogether.

Game 3 begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

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