by Ernest Hernandez
San Juan took home the Central Conference championship of the Community Basketball Association (CBA) Pilipinas Founders Cup after beating General Trias, 75-64, in the final at the General Trias Sports Complex on Sunday.
The Knights staved off the homecourt disadvantage and blasted the Braves, going full throttle in the third canto where the visitors held the hosts to just seven points and opened the largest lead of the game at 24, 58-34 before settling for the 11-point win.
“We played our usual game. Alam namin na lamang sila sa experience, kaya the game plan really was to use our speed and one-on-one plays,” said San Juan coach Randy Alcantara, who earned his second title in less than a month after steering the San Juan Knights to the MPBL Datu Cup championship.
“Na-neutralize namin yun experience at maganda yung naging rebounding namin, kaya nakatakbo kami,” added Alcantara, who was ably assisted by Yong Garcia and Melvin Caruz.
Paul Victoria came close to a triple-double after notching 17 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists for San Juan.
Noah Lugo and Jhonard Clarito each added 15 markers.
Christian Buñag came up with a perfect game from the field, going 4-for-4 and finishing with 12 points alongside eight rebounds.
Ian Melencio put up 17 markers, six boards, three dimes, and two steals, while Jonathan Rivera posted a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds with two blocks and one steal for General Trias.
San Juan 75-Victoria 17, Lugo 15, Clarito 15, Buñag 12, Aguirre 8, Reyes 2, Rosopa 2, Bonifacio 2, Ubalde 2, Saret 0, Astrero 0, Acol 0
General Trias 64-Melencio 17, Rivera 11, Prudente 9, Evangelista 8, Delos Santos 7, Laureno 6, Porto 4, Guillen 2, Tajonera 0, Alcaraz 0, Bondoc 0
Quarterscores: 17-15, 37-27, 58-34, 75-64