Aquastars trip Specialists, send VisMin Cup title series to winner-take-all

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 08,2021 - 10:22 PM

MJAS-Zenith Talisay City Aquastars’ Paulo Hubalde soars for an emphatic block against Ping Exciminiano of the KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City in Game 2 of their Best-of-Three finals series of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup. | VisMin Super Cup Media Bureau via Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines— The trophy was ready to be awarded, the balloons and confetti were waiting to rain down from the rafters for the KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City.

But the MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars rained on the Computer Specialists’ parade, beating the latter, 63-56, on Saturday night, May 8, in Game 2 of their Best-of-Three Finals Series of the Chooks-to-Go VisMin Super Cup at the Alcantara Civic Center, in Alcantara town southwest Cebu.

As expected, the Aquastars recomposed themselves and retaliated with a vengeance, following their painful, 66-67, loss in Game 1 last Friday.

Talisay’s victory forged a mouth-watering, winner-take-all  Game 3 against the Specialists at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the same venue.

Just like Game 1, the Aquastars looked out of it as they wasted a strong start and trailed, 41-48, early in the fourth period.

However, they turned the tide after KCS’s defensive specialist Ping Exciminiano exited the game with still 8:38 to go because of an apparent leg injury.

The Aquastars quickly took charge as season MVP Jaymar Gimpayan, Shane Darrell Menina, Jhaymo Eguilos, Egie Boy Mojica and Paulo Hubalde sparked a 16-2 blast that put them ahead, 57-50.

The Specialists, however, refused to go down and kept within striking distance, 56-59 after Gryann Mendoza split his free throws with 1:19 remaining.

Hubalde then extended Talisay’s lead to five, 61-56, by canning both his charity shots after getting bumped off a pick and roll by the Specialists’ big man Bernie Bregondo.

The Specialists had several chances to slice their deficit, but Game 1 hero, Shaquille Imperial, and Mendoza missed crucial three-point attempts of their own.

Menina, then scored an easy layup from a loose ball to preserve the Aquastars seven-point victory, 63-56.

“The boys showed heart, ayaw talaga nila magpatalo,” said Aquastars head coach Aldrin Morante. “Pinakita nila yung character nila coming off a loss last night.”

Hubalde was named Player of the Game for tallying 11 points, six rebounds, two steals, and four assists while Shane Darrel Menina had 15 points.

Visayas leg MVP Jaymar Gimpayan chipped in eight markers along with eight boards, and three steals.

“Sabi nga nila, you throw all the stats out of the window sa Game 3. We just have to focus mentally dahil ang goal talaga namin dito sa bubble is to win the championship,” added Morante.

Exciminiano paced the Specialists with 14 points, eight rebounds, two dimes, and three steals while Rhaffy Octobre and Mendoza chipped in 11 markers apiece, with the latter pulling down 13 rebounds, dishing seven assists and a block.

Imperial was limited to just four points on 1-of-7 shooting and three turnovers. A complete opposite from his 16-point performance in game one.

THE SCORES:

MJAS-Talisay 63 – Menina 15, Hubalde 11, Cabahug 8, Gimpayan 8, Mojica 7, Jamon 4, Acuna 3, Eguilos 3, Villafranca 2, Mabigat 2, Santos 0.

KCS-Mandaue 56 – Exciminiano 14, Mendoza 11, Octobre 11, Nalos 4, Sorela 4, Imperial 4, Soliva 4, Cachuela 2, Bregondo 2, Tamsi 0, Roncal 0, Bonganciso 0, Delator 0, Mercader 0.

Quarterscores: 15-4, 24-23, 41-41, 63-56.    /rcg

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TAGS: finals series, Game 2, KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City, MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars, Paulo Hubalde, VisMin Super Cup finals

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