JERIE Pingoy reintroduced himself as a lethal scorer as he made the big shots in Akari-Adamson's 89-79 win over Batangas-EAC in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
With their fate hanging in the balance, Pingoy nailed a triple to break the knot, 81-78, with two minutes and five seconds remaining.
But he didn't stop there. The former UAAP juniors MVP would knock down two more triples after that before a Jonathan Espeleta jumper sealed the Falcons' sixth victory in eight matches.
Pingoy finished with game-high 23 points, four rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.
Jerrick Ahanmisi had 16 points, Jerom Lastimosa chipped in 11 markers, while Papi Sarr scored 10 points and hauled down six rebounds.
While relieved with the victory, Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren expressed disappointment with the Falcons' sluggish start.
"They (Batangas) really played well but we're sleepwalking in the first quarter and that gave them confidence," said Pumaren.
"They're playing pressure-free already. Getting them 27 points in the first quarter is a big no-no for me."
Good thing Pingoy stepped up in the clutch of the back-and-forth match, with his three-pointers giving the Falcons enough buffer to put away the slumping Generals, who suffered a third straight loss.
Batangas-EAC plummeted to 12th place with a woeful 1-7 record despite big efforts from Cedric De Joya, Jerome Garcia, Cedric Ablaza, and Camillus Altamirano.
De Joya paced Batangas-EAC with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists but turned the ball over six times. Garcia had 13 markers, while Ablaza put up a double-double outing of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
AKARI-ADAMSON 89 — Pingoy 23, Ahanmisi 16, Lastimosa 10, Sarr 10, Mojica 7, Camacho 6, Espeleta 6, Manganti 6, Catapusan 2, Lojera 2, Macion 0, Zaldivar 0.
BATANGAS-EAC 79 — De Joya 15, Garcia 13, Ablaza 12, Altamirano 12, Diego 7, E. Mendoza 7, Dela Peña 4, Bautista 2, Maguliano 2, Martin 2, Tampoc 2, J. Mendoza 1, Corilla 0.
Quarterscores: 26-27, 51-47, 66-64, 89-79.