ANGELES CITY — John Wilson is making a strong case for this season’s Most Valuable Player award. The veteran guard is playing like a man on a mission for the reigning champions San Juan Knights.
Wilson tallied a new league-high for most points scored in a game as he torched home team Pampanga Giant Lanterns with his torrid shooting and propelled San Juan to a thrilling 102-97 overtime win late Tuesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Arena.
The 6-foot-1 guard knocked in 44 points, breaking the previous high 41 scored by Leomar Losentes last season.
For Wilson, setting scoring record wasn’t new for him, much like his feat 10 years ago as a college player.
“Naka-record na rin ako sa NCAA, 48 points. Hindi ko ini-expect na naka 40-plus na pala akala ko mga 30 lang, pero 44 pala. I’m proud of myself na talagang nagri-resulta yung extra workout ko,” Wilson told FOX Sports Philippines.
With Wilson on fire, San Juan kept its burning desire of winning back-to-back championships. The team has improved to 13-1 and remained on top of the standings.
Playing the reigning champions had somehow toughened up the Basilan Steel ahead of their game against the Imus Bandera and on Tuesday night, the team from down south was able to run roughshod against their rivals from Southern Tagalog.
Jay Collado finished with 17 points while four other players ended up in double figures as the Steel bounced back strong from a painful loss against the Knights and vented their ire on the Imus Bandera, 98-85.
Gab Dagangon contributed 15 markers while Junjie Hallare and Hesed Gabo had 13 apiece. Anthony Bringas came away with a double-double effort of 10 points and 11 rebounds in a display of balance firepower by Basilan, which improved its win-loss record to 9-5 for solo fifth spot in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Imus absorbed its fourth straight loss and dropped to 3-10.
Davao Occidental blasted Bicol, 88-76, in the other game as Mark Yee came away with yet another double-double effort.
Last season’s runner-up to Gab Banal in the MVP derby, Yee had another solid game of 19 points and 10 boards.
Emman Calo contributed 15 markers, Bogs Raymundo chipped in 11 and Chester Saldua had 10 as the Cocolife-backed Tigers continued their onslaught in the tournament to pace the southern squads.
The Tigers now carry a 12-2 win-loss slate.