Lapu-Lapu City stuns Mandaue City to force sudden death in Vismin Cup semis
CEBU: The ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes stunned the KCS Computer Specialist Mandaue City with a 67-52 win, forcing a do-or-die match in the semifinals of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town here on Tuesday evening.
The Heroes erased the twice-to-beat advantage of the KCS Computer Specialist, bringing the series to sudden death on Wednesday, May 5 with the winner moving on to the best-of-three Visayas leg finals against the unbeaten MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars, starting Friday.
Reed Juntilla continued his torrid scoring spree as he tallied 19 points, including a booming four-point play that kept Mandaue City at bay. He added six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
While Juntilla took care of the perimeter scoring, Dawn Ochea held the fort inside as he scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
With Juntilla and Ochea firing on all cylinders in the first half, the ARQ Builders raced off to a 39-29 lead at halftime. Lapu-Lapu City maintained its inspired play in the third to pull away with a 51-40 lead in the final period of action.
Juntilla then sparked the Heroes’ final breakaway with a huge four-point play that was soon followed by a short jumper from Fletcher Galvez, a hook shot from Ochea, and a shot clock-beating triple from Rendell Senining that gave ARQ Builders a 67-49 lead with just 2:43 remaining in the game.
Lapu-Lapu City also dominated the rebounding battle, outhustling Mandaue City, 67-51. Hafer Mondragon pulled down 14 boards while Jojo Tangkay hauled in eight to go along with five steals.
Heroes assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor said every member of the team was locked in from the get-go, which played a huge factor in the team’s season-preserving win.
“The big difference was [that] everyone responded well. Everybody chipped in in their own little way,” said Abuyabor. “Kahit yung bench namin (Even our bench) was [very] positive, talking and encouraging one another.”
“We played as a team,” Abuyabor added.
On the other hand, KCS Computer Specialist was just a mess all game long as it made just 16 of its 71 attempts from the floor for a paltry 22-percent clip.
Nobody managed to score in double-figures for Mandaue City even with Al Francis Tamsi leading the way with nine points and Shaquille Imperial adding eight.
KCS Computer Specialist’s Gryann Mendoza was held down to just five markers after averaging 11.6 points during the regular season.