Mandaue fights back to stay alive in Governor’s Cup finals

By: Jonas Rey N. Panerio May 10,2019 - 08:24 AM

“Not yet” Gabriel Cometa saved Mandaue from defeat as he spearheaded a huge second half fightback in Game 2 of the Governor’s Cup basketball tournament finals at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex on Thursday, May 9, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Mandaue City, Cebu—There is some magic left in Mandaue City after all.

Down 14 points at halftime and their season on the line, the Mandaue City Ballers summoned all their might and came up with a scintillating second half performance to down the defending champions Talisay City Aquastars, 94-76, in Game Two of the 2019 Governor’s Cup basketball tournament on Thursday night, May 9, 2019, at the packed Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex.

The incredible come-from-behind victory tied the best-of-three finals series up at 1-1 with the deciding Game Three set for Saturday, May 11, 2019, at the University of San Carlos gym. 

Mandaue head coach Gary Cortes (center) speaks with his players Kenneth Brillo (left) and Gabriel Cometa (right) prior to the start of the second half of Game 2. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Game time is set at 3 p.m.

After a woeful first half that saw them turn the ball over a whopping 19 times, Mandaue City’s chances appeared bleak after getting outscored 12-28 in the second canto to fall behind, 32-46, at the turn.

However, the Ballers suddenly came alive in the third. With their hometown crowd roaring louder and louder after every made basket, Mandaue City uncorked a massive 25-2 run behind the efforts of speedy guard Gabriel Cometa, Kenneth Brillo, Paul Sungahid and LJ Gonzaga to seize a 57-48 advantage. 

GALLERY: Images from Mandaue City’s Game 2 victory in the Governor’s Cup Finals

Archie Buscay capped off what eventually would be a 40-15 rally with a buzzer-beating three-pointer that gave the Ballers a 72-61 lead heading to the fourth.

Seemingly in a daze after Mandaue City’s haymaker of a third, Talisay City could only come as close as 10 in the fourth with Cometa providing the fireworks late in the game with a couple of razzle-dazzle baskets over the tight defense of Aquastars’ guard Raffy Briones.

Talisay City’s Keaton Taburnal is guarded by Mandaue’s Gabriel Cometa. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

After scoring just four in the first half, Cometa put up 19 in the final 20 minutes of action to finish with 23 points and a whopping 16 assists in 35 minutes of action.

Brillo, back in harness after missing Game 1 due to a league-imposed suspension, made all but one of his field goals, and had 15 points, nine rebounds and six steals. 

Buscay added 14 points and nine boards, Sungahid and Dwight Dabon contributed 13 markers each while Gonzaga chipped in 10 for Mandaue City.

Keaton Taburnal led Talisay City in scoring with 22 points. However, team skipper Jay Deiparine had a miserable shooting night, making just 3-of-18 for just nine points. /bmjo

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TAGS: Gabriel Cometa, Gary Cortes, Governor's Cup Finals, Talisay City Aquastars

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