SAN Juan held off Navotas, 81-76, on Wednesday night in Game One of their Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup North Division first-round series at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Mike Ayonayon had 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists for the third-seeded Knights, who have a chance to complete a sweep of the best-of-three affair on Monday right in their home floor at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Larry Rodriguez tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds while fellow ex-pro Mac Cardona added 13 points in the close win.
Cardona drilled a three-pointer and Rodriguez hit back-to-back baskets in San Juan’s 9-0 run that increased the Knights' lead to 35-24.
Navotas' loss spoiled the efforts of guards Donald Gumaru and Jai Reyes, who had 19 and 17 points, respectively, for the Clutch.