UNDERDOG KCS-MANDAUE CLAIMS VISAYAS TITLE TOPPLING DOWN UNBEATEN MJAS-TALISAY
Coming as an underdog in the finals, KCS-Mandaue City completed its cinderella run against MJAS Zenith-Talisay City, 89-75, to emerge as the Visayas champions of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Sunday evening at the Civic Center.
The Computer Specialist-Mandaue City ended upsetting the top-seeded Aquastars in the Best-of-Three Finals Series with a 2-1 win-loss slate at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town, southwest Cebu.
KCS-Mandaue stunned the MJAS-Talisay, who came unbeaten in the finals, in Game One last Friday, 67-66, then the Aquastars were able to even the score in Game Two, 63-56, a day later.
Down seven early in the third quarter, KCS turned the tables after unleashing a jaw-dropping 18-1 run racked by a three-pointer by Shaquille Imperial that gave them a 54-44 lead.
Al Francis Tamsi, Red Cachuela, Michole Sorela, and Ping Exciminiano then got on the scoring spree as they led KCS to a 61-50 lead heading into the final canto.
In the fourth quarter, the Specialists continued its impressive run with diminutive guard Gileant Delator, drilling eight straight points to give them an 81-64 lead.
Sorella uncorked a long three-pointer and a baseline jumper to give the KCS Mandaue their biggest lead of the game at 22, 88-66.
The Aquastars, who went unbeaten 10-0 in the elimination round, could not get anything going with sixth man Darrell Menina getting ejected from the game after incurring a flagrant foul on Delator with 5:17 left in the clock.
“I told them, ‘let’s try to make history. Let’s give them forty minutes of hell!’ I got to win the hearts of the players. That‘s why they played so hard because I think I was able to capture it,” ” said Mandaue coach Mike Reyes.
Ping Exciminiano was named Finals MVP who led KCS with 15 points, 5 rebounds, an assist, and 3 steals and averaged 13.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.0 steals in the three-game series.
“Sobrang blessed ako. After all na nangyari sa akin, nagka-injury at Achilles injury, nagpapasalamat ako na napunta ako sa ganitong situwasyon,” said Exciminiano.
Sorela and Tamsi added 12 markers apiece, with the former hauling down 8 boards while Delator and Imperial chipped in 10 markers apiece.
Talisay team captain Paulo Hubalde was limited to only just 4 points and committed 5 turnovers while Season MVP Jaymar Gimpayan managed only 12 points, most of which came when the result was no longer doubtful.
Patrick Cabahug spearheaded the Aquastars with 21 points.
KCS-Mandaue will be representing Visayas in the grand finals in August in Tubod, Lanao Del Norte while also bagging P500,000 while MJAS-Talisay settled for P100,000.
The scores are the following:
KCS-Mandaue 89 – Exciminiano 15, Tamsi 12, Sorela 12, Imperial 10, Delator 10, Bregondo 8, Mendoza 8, Roncal 4, Soliva 4, Cachuela 2, Bonganciso 2, Octobre 2, Nalos 0, Castro 0.
MJAS-Talisay 75 – Cabahug 21, Gimpayan 12, Menina 9, Villafranca 8, Jamon 7, Mojica 6, Hubalde 4, Acuna 3, Santos 2, Eguilos 2, Casajeros 1, Mabigat 0, Dela Cerna 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19, 34-39, 61-50, 89-75.