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Marc Pingris successful in MPBL debut as Imus escapes Batangas City

Jimboy Estrada came alive for Imus on the road. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

BATANGAS CITY—Marc Pingris won in his basketball playing comeback, but Imus needed to weather a furious Batangas City comeback for a 71-70 victory in their MPBL battle on Tuesday night at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.

Jimboy Estrada stole the show from Pingris for the Bandera franchise now known as the SV Squad, but the Athletics, despite what could be their ugliest start at home, came close to snatching the win despite trailing by as much as 20 points.

Imus silenced the sold-out Batangas City crowd as the home squad was held to just six points in the first quarter while the visiting club eventually opened a 42-22 lead early in the third quarter.

The Athletics slowly chipped the lead and were within one with 30.3 seconds left.

They then forced the SV Squad to a shot-clock violation with 16.3 seconds remaining, giving the hosts a chance to win it outright.

However, Jeckster Apinan badly missed a layup attempt, giving the ball back to Imus with 5.4 seconds remaining.

Jason Peñaredondo, though, failed to control the ball off the inbound pass, and Batangas City got the ball back with 3.1 seconds left.

Peñaredondo bounced back by forcing Jong Baloria to a tough three-point attempt that only hit the side of the backboard as time ran out on the home team.

Estrada, who still has college eligibility at St. Clare and is playing in the pros under a special guest license, led the now 3-4 Imus side with 27 points on 9-for-12 shooting, one rebound, four assists, and three steals.

Mac-Mac Cardona added 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Pingris had a relatively quiet two points but also amassed 10 rebounds, five assists, and one block in his MPBL debut.

Baloria put up 21 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal for Batangas City, which fell to 6-2.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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