by Kristel Satumbaga
Inaugural champion Batangas City and San Juan City posted hard-earned wins late Saturday to forge a winner-take-all showdown in their division finals in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup in separate venues.
The Tanduay-backed Athletics pulled of a pulsating 76-74 overtime win over the Davao Occidental Tigers-Cocolife at the La Salle Sentrum in Lipa City, Batangas, while the Knights edged the Manila Stars, 92-90, at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.
Jeff Viernes with 20 points, Jeff Eguilos posted 12 points and hauled 17 rebounds, and Val Acuña and Dennice Villamor contributed 15 points each for Batangas City.
San Juan, meanwhile, got a big lift from John Wilson and Jhonard Clarito, who finished with 18 and 16 points.