SAN Juan defeated AICC Manila, 80-71, on Saturday night to move one win away from bagging another title, this time in the Filbasket Subic Championship.
San Juan vs AICC Manila Game 1
Rhenz Abando topscored for the Knights with 17 points as they were able to protect a 20-point lead they erected in the first half to go 1-0 in their best-of-three finals series being held at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.
The Knights can add the Filbasket crown to their name on Sunday as they go for the sweep of AICC Manila on Sunday night at the Subic venue.
The 2019 MPBL Datu Cup champion led, 36-16, in the second period but lost that advantage in the third quarter when AICC Manila grabbed a 59-58 advantage entering the final canto.
San Juan though weathered the storm, erecting a 10-2 run to regain the lead, with Alvin Abundo and Jhonard Clarito closing out the game with baskets to bring its lead to 75-68 with 28.6 seconds left.
Orlan Wamar also had 12 points for San Juan including the last four free throws of the game to maintain their lead.
Hesed Gabo had 22 points, while Chris Bitoon tallied 15 points as AICC, which entered the finals as the top-seeded team, is on the brink of elimination.
Tensions also flared in the 4:58 mark of the second period with security needing to step in between the two teams during a break in the action.