MALVAR, BATANGAS — The Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay had to travel a few kilometers away from home, but they didn’t lose comfort following a warm welcome they received from the nearby town.
Coming in full force were the Batangueños from this local town and places nearby, who trooped to the Batangas State University here and supported an Athletics team that didn’t disappoint its fans following a tense 96-93 squeaker of the Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Equipment.
Jeff Viernes returned and provided the spark needed by the Athletics while Denice Villamor stepped up big. Also producing double-digit outputs were Jhaymo Eguilos, inaugural season MVP Val Acuna, Adrian Santos, and Lester Alvarez.
These six players displayed the Athletics’ balance firepower. Viernes led the way with 19 points and four steals.
Villamor, a former player of Barangay Ginebra, added 18 markers on a steady 7-of-10 shooting.
Eguilos, the team’s pillar of strength, had a double-double performance of 14 points and 10 boards while Acuna, who is now back in peak form, added 13.
Alvarez and Santos each had 10 points for Batangas City, which bounced back from back-to-back setbacks and improved its win-loss record to 12-8.
The Athletics still hold the third spot of the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
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