MPBL: Knights, Tigers try to stay on top

The San Juan Knights and the Davao Occidental Tigers will try to keep their share of top spot when they tackle separate rivals in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Season on Tuesday, September 15, at Angeles University Foundation Arena in Angeles City.

The Knights, leaders in the North division, are pitted against the host Pampanga Giant Lanterns at 8:30 p.m. while the Tigers, the South division pacesetters, are up against the Bicol Volcanoes at 6:30 p.m.

Completing the tripleheader is the Imus Bandera-Basilan Steel clash at 4 p.m.

With their deep bench, the Knights, champions of the MPBL Datu Cup, are slightly favored to beat the Giant Lanterns and improve their 12-win, 1-loss card.

The same holds true for the Tigers, who tote an 11-2 slate and will be led by double-double specialist Mark Yee in their battle with the Volcanoes, one of the six expansion teams in the 31-team league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with Kenneth Duremdes as commissioner.

Both San Juan, backed by Go for Gold, and Davao Occidental, supported by Cocolife, prevailed in their last games with the Knights trouncing the Marikina Shoemasters, 87-73, and the Tigers taming the General Santos Warriors, 84-75.

San Juan will be powered by former pros John Wilson and Larry Rodriguez and rising star Mike Ayonayon in their showdown with the Giant Lanterns, who boast a 9-4 card behind the tandem of Michael Juico and Mark Cruz.

Basilan (8-5) is picked over Imus (3-9) which is reeling from three straight defeats.