Jerie Pingoy scored a game-high 23 points and provided the finishing touches to lift Akari-Adamson to an 89-79 victory over Batangas-EAC on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
With their second victory in four days, the Falcons remain a solid contender for an outright semi-final berth in this 12-team, single round elimination tournament.
Jerrick Ahanmisi tallied 16 points, Jerome Lastimosa had 11 and Papi Sarr chipped in 10 for Akari-Adamson, which needed a 11-1 closing salvo to defuse the threat of the hard fighting Generals and improved to 6-2 record.
"That's the advantage of Pingoy. He's willing to take the big shots," said Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren of the former UAAP Junior MVP, who went 6 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Batangas-EAC managed to keep the game close but went without a field goal in the final 3:30 and went down to their seventh loss in eight games.
Ahanmisi scored 14 of his points in the first half and the Generals turned the ball over 14 times in the stretch as the Falcons took a slim 51-47 lead at halftime. Pingoy scored 12 in the game's first 20 minutes.
The upset conscious Generals kept game interesting in the fourth quarter especially when Cedric Ablaza scored on back to back baskets to put Batangas-EAC ahead, 78-76, with 3:30 left in the period.
But Ahanmisi, the Falcons' go-to-guy, answered with a layup 10 seconds later to tie the scores before Pinggoy took over, knocking down three successive treys to give Akari-Adamson a comfortable 87-79 advantage with 1:21 remaining.
Cedric de Joya scores 15 points and Cedrick Ablaza added 12 and 11 rebounds as Batangas-EAC dominated the boards, 47-45.
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 Pe?a 4, Bautista 2, Maguliano 2, Martin 2, Tampoc 2, J. Mendoza 1, Corilla 0.
Quarters: 26-27, 51-47, 66-64, 89-79.