The KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue put themselves in a much closer state to secure the Visayas Leg Championship after they overwhelmed Talisay in Game 1, 67-66.
After the 10-0 campaign in the elimination round, MJAS Zenith Talisay-Aquastars lost for the first time this season. They were outperfomed in the 2nd half and almost won the game.
Talisay controlled the 1st half of the game by outscoring Mandaue 18-12 after the first period and led the match 32-27 at halftime. The #2 seed KCS-Mandaue though kept their composure in the 3rd by taking the lead from the Aquastars before going in to the last 10 minutes of the contest, 47-44. Entering the final period, Mandaue expanded their advantage to nine after Ping Excimiano stole the ball and made a fastbreak layup at the 8:39 mark, 54-45. The #1 seed Talisay lowered the score difference, but Gryann Mendoza and Michole Solera sank two three-pointers and a mid-range jumper to enlarge the lead to eleven, 62-51. The Aquastars respond by posting an 11-0 run that ties the game with 2:07 remaining in the game. Both squads scored two inside buckets to hold onto the match. Shane Menina made two clutch free throws to give Talisay a two-point advantage, 66-64. After the timeout, Shaquille Imperial knocked down a game-winner three-pointer for Mandaue with 38.9 seconds left in the game.
5-foot-11 Imperial was named Best Player of the Game with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists.
“Sa akin, itong game na ‘to kakalimutan na namin ‘to. Mag-focus na kami sa Game 2. Yung mga boxout namin, mga weakness namin, extra pass tapos tiwala sa sarili, lalo na sa isa’t isa.” Imperial on the biggest factor that they need to sustain going on to Game 2.
Meanwhile, the MJAS Zenith Talisay-Aquastars title hopes are on the line in Game 2. If they manage to win tonight, a do-or-die game will take place tomorrow night, 7:00pm.