Insights: Stingy defense, balanced offense help San Juan rout Bulacan

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Another day, another double-digit win for San Juan.

After trashing the Pampanga Lanterns last week, the San Juan Knights picked up where they left off in the MPBL Datu Cup and destroyed the Bulacan Kuyas, 94-76, at the Valenzuela Astrodome.

The Knights started hot and never trailed in the game, using their defense to slow down the Kuyas who are also coming off a double-digit win in their opening match against the Rizal Crusaders.

Aaron Jeruta led five other Knights who scored in double figures, finishing with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Jason Melano, meanwhile, banked 21 markers in a losing effort for Bulacan.

Here are the numbers and more game notes.

– San Juan used a full-court press right off the bat to open the game with an 11-2 run. They finished the first quarter with a 16-point lead (32-16) after forcing Bulacan to commit eight turnovers in the period alone.

– Speaking of turnovers, the Knights had 15 steals and got the bulk of their points from their opponent’s miscues. They scored a total of 40 points off turnovers as compared to Bulacan, who only had 15 throughout the match.

– Bulacan actually outscored the Knights in the second half, 45-33. However, that was not enough as San Juan had already built a 30-point advantage at the end of halftime.

– Jhonard Clarito was the standout performer in the match. While he only made nine points, his contribution on the defensive end proved pivotal as they rout Bulacan. He had four steals and three blocks as he kept chasing whoever had the ball.

– Jeruta was also spectacular for San Juan as he went 4-of-4 from three-point territory. He made all of his threes in the first half, including three straight in the second quarter that pushed the Knights’ lead to 31.

– JR Taganas seized another double-double for Bulacan with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but he also committed the most turnovers for the team with four.

– One interesting situation that happened in the match was when Larry Rodriguez was whistled for his fourth foul midway in the third quarter. He was then assessed a tech for wearing the wrong uniform, leading to his sending off!

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