Estabillo takes over in crunch time as Villamor outlasts Born Ballers for breakthrough win


By John Mark Herrera - Published March 10, 2020

The skid finally ended for VIllamor after a 100-95 victory over the gritty Born Ballers in the first game of the Sunday KOTC Q1 Inter Pick-Up League double-header at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.

Villamor went to their main man in Jako Estabillo, as the pride of Don Bosco Makati drilled 14 of his 31 markers in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to will his team to their first win of the season. With Estabillo starting to heat up midway through the final chapter, Born Ballers kept knocking on the door as both teams approched crunch time.

Victor Epres and Jose Miguel Gemora led Born Ballers' last hurrah and trimmed the gap from a 92-83 count, down to just a single possession in the dying moments of the ballgame. With the score at 97-95 and 18.4 ticks on the game clock, Villamor pulled off a successful stop after forcing Gemora to a well-challenged heave which bounced off the rim and out. Estabillo and Istvan Parreno would combined for three maked from the foul line to get enough breathing space in the final 11 seconds, as they secure win number one.

Jonathan Puente followed the captain's lead with 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Parreno and Gibson Tuñacao each fired 13 markers, while Al Tunacao addedd eight points, six rebounds, and four assists. Huge contributions in the rebounding category came from Jello Espino (12 boards) and Jerome Canseco (12 borards), who combined for nearly half of the team's 58 total rebounds in the win.

For Born Ballers, the fight that they put up despite only fielding six players in the hard-fought ballgame, the players still contributed solid numbers. Victor Epres finished with a game-high 38 points on top of 12 rebounds to complete a double-double, Leandro Dela Cruz also recorded the same feat with 17 points and 11 boards, Eric Lugo had his version of the impressive stat line with 11 points and 13 boards. Team captain Jose Miguel Gemora rounds out the gutsy perfomances with 24 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Villamor will march on to the playoffs after the strong finish, while Born Ballers has Hoops Project as their final assignment in the elimination round, before taking their seat in the knockout stages of the KOTC Q1 2020 Inter Pick-Up League.