ALCANTARA— KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue escaped ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu with a 77-66 victory in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday night at the Civic Center here in Cebu.
The win pushed KCS’s record to 3-1, good for solo second place right behind the undefeated MJAS Zenith-Talisay City, which sports a clean 5-0 mark.
Gryann Mendoza shone for KCS as he scored 19 points, including a layup down the middle of the lane that gave his team a 71-62 lead with 2:21 remaining in the match. Mendoza also grabbed 10 rebounds, issued two assists, and added a steal and three blocks in a stellar all-around effort.
Already undermanned due to the suspension of five key players, the Heroes’ job became even tougher after ace point guard and team captain Jerick Cañada limped out of the game in the second period after appearing to tweak something in his leg. He was not able to return to the ballgame.
Nevertheless, the Heroes still gave it their all, leading by as much as eight before KCS made their move in the third canto. With their defense forcing ARQ into turnovers, KCS unloaded 10 unanswered points to turn a 36-40 deficit into a 46-40 lead. They eventually took a 52-47 lead heading to the last period.
In the final frame, KCS poured it on with Rhaffy Octobre canning two three-pointers, Solera scoring inside and Mendoza converting a layup to build a 67-55 lead with just 4:06 remaining. A three-pointer by ARQ’s Vincent Minguito sliced KCS’s lead down to seven but Mendoza shut the door on any comeback by scoring on the next trip down.
After the match, KCS head coach Mike Reyes lamented their lack of ball movement early on.
“We weren’t sharing the ball,” said Reyes. “We wanted to beat three people!”
Octobre chipped in 13 points, five boards, and three blocks while Monic Soliva also had his best game of the tournament so far with 10 points and nine boards.
Reyes, though, gave credit to his players raising the pressure on defense later on.
“I feel that’s how’s we’re going to beat them if papahirapan namin sila in bringing up the ball.”
ARQ, which dropped to 2-2, got 16 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block from Minguito while the 6-foot-8 Rino Berame added 12 points and 10 boards.
Both teams look to end their first round campaigns on a high note tomorrow as KCS-Mandaue takes on Dumaguete (1-3) at 3PM followed by ARQ Lapu-Lapu taking on Tubigon Bohol (0-4) in the nightcap.
KCS-Mandaue (77)—Mendoza 19, Octobre 13, Soliva 10, Imperial 8, Solera 8, Nalos 6, Delator 4, Castro 3, Roncal 2, Mercader 2, Tamsi 2, Cachuela 0, Bonganciso 0.
ARQ Lapu-Lapu (66)—Minguito 16, Berame 12, Galvez 8, Cañada, 7, Abad 6, Arong 4, Mondragon 4, Igot 4, Regero 4, Solis 1.
Quarterscores: 13-21, 32-35, 52-47, 77-66
Source: Tiebreaker Times