Pingoy on breakout game after ankle surgery: 'Gusto ko i-prove sa lahat na nandito pa rin ako'
Jerie Pingoy had his best game since his return from ankle surgery last December. Dante Peralta

JERIE Pingoy proved he's still the player that won the UAAP juniors MVP years ago, displaying his offensive prowess in Akari-Adamson's 89-79 win over Batangas-EAC in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Thursday.

Although still recovering from an ankle surgery last December, Pingoy had his best game yet in the league reminiscent of his high school performances for Far Eastern University, churning out 23 points, four rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.

Pingoy, who was once the subject of a controversy that prompted the UAAP board to implement a two-year residency rule, admitted he was motivated to prove his worth in the match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

"Sabi ko bago maglaro, pupuntos ako ng 20, kukunin ko talaga ngayon," he said at the end of the game.

"Kasi gusto ko i-prove sa lahat na nandito pa rin ako e, coming from injury. Papakita ko sa lahat na deserving pa rin ako maglaro." 

The 5-foot-9 guard did just that, bringing the team home with three straight triples in the final stretch that gave the Falcons enough buffer to run away with their sixth victory in eight matches.

It doesn't mean, though, that he will focus on scoring from now on.

Now that he is expected to be the primary point guard of Adamson, Pingoy said he will just try to fulfill his playmaking duties.

"I just play my role. Role ko is to get the ball to our go-to guy and other teammates. Wala naman kaming star player e, kung may points ako it's a plus na lang," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros