San Juan found a savior in Jhonard Clarito and downed Davao Occidental, 67-62, to move onto the threshold of winning the MPBL Datu Cup Tuesday night at The Arena in San Juan City.
A product of the De Ocampo Memorial College in the NCRAA, Clarito played his most productive game so far with 12 points on top 17 rebounds that resulted to San Juan’s 14 seconds chance points, more than half their rivals.
San Juan also outrebounded its rivals, 49-41, allowing the Knights to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five series.
With Clarito doing most the dirty job, their natural scorers led by Mike Ayonayon and John Wilson were able to contribute in their own ways.
The high-leaping Ayonayon tallied 15 markers while Wilson chipped in 12 for the Knights.
The Knights, supported by Big J Sports, can wrap things up with another win on April 22, Monday, also at The Arena.
San Juan won despite shooting only 31 percent from the field, but its team defense which forced Davao Occidental to commit 25 turnovers, proved to be the big difference. Its defense on the Tigers’ main men — Mark Yee and Leo Najorda – was also evident.
The two ex-pros combined for only 10 points.
Yee was less active on the offensive end as he attempted only six shots, but he did manage to grab 13 rebounds.