After a rewarding campaign in the 2019 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup, the San Juan Knights-Go For Gold have kept its solid core intact ready for another championship run in the coming season.
Save for a few valuable acquisitions, the Knights retained a lineup that can gamely face any challenger for the coveted crown when Season 3 of the MPBL kicks off on June 12.
“We have kept the core of our championship team with a few valuable additions to address some areas for improvement,” said Go For Gold godfather and team owner Jeremy Go.
The Knights, behind the stellar performances of Finals MVP Rian Michael Ayon and former PBA players Larry Rodriguez, John Wilson and Mac Cardona, ruled the Datu Cup over the Davao Occidental Tigers in the deciding fifth game of their best-of-five series.
Also contributing to the cause of the Knights were Jhonard Clarito, Carlos Junior Isit, Cedric Pelayo, Orlan Wamar Jr. and Jeff Tajonera, who efficiently filled the void left by injured forward Jamil Gabawan.
“I fully expect that we will defend our title. I know that it won’t be easy because a lot of other teams got stronger,” said Go, the vice president for marketing of Powerball Marketing & Logistics Corporation.
Fresh acquisitions Andrew Estrella and Jessie Saitanan will strengthen the Knights roster, which also has mainstays Joseph Ubalde, Joseph Marquez, Art Patrick Aquino, Lester Reyes and Mike Salvado.
Go and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada are the co-owners of the team with Chris Conwi as team governor handling the affairs of the Knights together with team manager Jun M. Usman.