by Ernest Hernandez
San Juan engaged Navoteno in a tough battle before eventually pulling out a 63-58 win in the Metro League U17 Division at the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig City on Thursday.
San Juan turned things around in the third quarter, limiting Navoteno to just nine points before taking a 42-40 lead into the fourth.
Navoteno remained resilient despite trailing for most of the final frame and had a chance to force overtime as Rommel Mangalindan got the rebound off a Tracy Rodenas miss.
But Klein Lizan gave up a bad pass, leading to Matthew Calilong’s dagger layup with four seconds left.
Rowell Castro posted a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds with four assists and one steal for San Juan.
Ray Maglupay added 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Mangalindan came up with a game-high 16 markers with five boards, five dimes, and six steals for Navoteno.
San Juan 63 — Castro 15, Maglupay 13, Mayono 8, Abanico 8, Calilong 7, Teodoro 6, Nieras 3, Rodenas 2, Abalos 1, Valeros 0, Mabazza 0,
Navotas 58 — Mangalindan 16, Lizan 13, Crisostomo 8, Villanueva 7, Javier 6, Balasabas 3, Cu 2, Castillo 2, Mallari 1, Hughes 0, Matias 0, Rosal 0, Santillan 0
Quarterscores: 16-15, 28-31, 42-40, 63-58