In a thrilling showcase of skill and determination, the Batangas City Embassy Chill secured their first playoff victory on Tuesday at the Batangas City Coliseum, bringing them a step closer to the coveted semifinal round of the MPBL Fifth Season playoffs .
The game between the Chill Athletics and the Imus SV Squad unfolded as an intense battle in the South division quarterfinals, culminating in a final score of 78-71 in favor of Batangas.
Although close, the score alone does not adequately capture the dominance displayed by Batangas throughout the match. Right from the get-go, they managed to dictate the tempo and kept their lower-ranked opponent in check.
The formidable trio of Jong Baloria, Levi Hernandez, and Jeckster Apinan powered the Batangas Athletics, establishing an early lead and pulling away by a commanding 21-point margin (44-23) before halftime.
Baloria shone brightly, amassing 17 points, five rebounds, two steals, two assists, and one block, earning him the ‘best player of the game’ title. Hernandez, on the other hand,contributed 13 points and two rebounds, while Apinan made a notable impact with 11 points, five boards, five assists, and three steals under the watchful eye of Batangas coach Cholo Villanueva.
Though the Athletics appeared to have the game firmly in their grasp with a comfortable 76-60 lead in the last 2 minutes of the game, Imus, led by Carlo Lastimosa, orchestrated a spirited 11-2 run in the closing moments, preventing a double-digit deficit and keeping fans on the edge of their seats.
Batangas and Imus will clash again on October 17 at Lagao Gymnasium. Will the series be tied? Or will Batangas advance?
Next Game Schedule: Caloocan Sports Complex
- Pampanga vs. Marikina
- Pasig vs. Caloocan
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