Specialists Coach Reyes shares formula on beating Aquastars to become VisMin Cup champions

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | May 10,2021 - 06:34 PM
Specialist Coach Reyes shares formula for beating Aquastars: Players and staff of the KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue City celebrate after winning the Visayas title of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Alcantara town, southwestern Cebu. | contributed photo

Players and staff of the KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue City celebrate after winning the Visayas title of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Alcantara town, southwestern Cebu. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Basketball experts will probably say that the KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue City won the inaugural Visayas leg title of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup because of their superb defense. 

But for Specialist Head Coach Mike Reyes, there is more to it than their superb defense.

Reyes said that they had different aspects on upsetting title favorites, the MJAS-Zenith Talisay City Aquastars in their Best-of-Three Finals Series, where they walked away with 2-1 record to win the title. 

For Reyes, he chose the team’s official roster carefully by selecting those who can play on both ends. It means he wanted players who are good in both defense and offense.

Thus, he ended up with a very diverse roster composed of pro veterans and players from two rival teams in Cesafi. 

READ: KCS Computer-Mandaue plans to keep roster intact for Grand Finals

Reyes mustered a roster composed of two rival teams in Cesafi; the Southwestern University-Phinma (SWU-Phinma) Cobras, which is his team, and their rival, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers. 

Cebuano basketball fans are witness on the rich rivalry between the Green Lancers and the Cobras in Cesafi.

Reyes fielded in former Cobras in Bernie Bregondo and Joseph Nalos. He also tapped three of his trusted players in Cesafi men’s basketball finals MVP Shaq Imperial, Dyll Roncal, and Red Cachuela, who was a last-minute replacement for JR Ongteco who backed out to avoid repercussions from the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League).

“Our best advantage against a very good team in Talisay is that we have players that can play on both ends of the floor. Aside from defense, I made sure to choose players in our line-up who are also reliable in offense,” said Reyes. 

“Players like Ping (Exciminiano), Tamsi (Al Francis), Gryann (Mendoza). Kinuha ko sila because they can play on both ends of the floor, and we’ve all seen how they played. Plus, I have players from the SWU. I know they can play and can easily execute on defense and offense,” he said.

(Players like Ping [Excimiano], Tamsi [Al Francis], Gryann [Mendoza]. I recruited them because they could play on both ends of the floor, and we’ve all seen how they played. Plus, I have players from the SWU. I know they can play and can easily execute on defense and offense.)

At first, the biggest question Reyes has is if he can whether or not command the players from his rival team, the Green Lancers. Reyes beat the Green Lancers in a three-game finals series in Cesafi in 2019 to win the men’s basketball title.

However, he set aside the rivalry and replaced it with unity within the team. 

“The question for me was the UV players. However, ang galing nilang sumunod sa mga plays and execution ko in both offense and defense. They are very helpful and very responsive on both ends,” he said.

(The question for me was the UV players. However, they were really good in following our plays and execution on both offense and defense. They are very helpful and very responsive on both ends.)

The players who come from UV are Rhaffy Octobre, Gileant Delator, Phil Mercader, and Monic Soliva. 

True to their monicker in the league as a “defensive-minded team”, the Specialists limited the Aquastars in game one of the Best-of-Three Finals Series to their lowest points output of 66. They took game one with a 1-point lead,67-66. 

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

In game two, the Aquastars bounced back,63-56, forcing the series into a rubber match last Sunday, where the Specialists showcased their other arsenal which is their offense. 

“We’re known for our defense, and yes, mahina yung offense namin, pero we showed that we can also be good in offense last Sunday. We showed that we can really play on both ends of the court,” he said.

(We’re known for our defense, and yes, our offense is weak, but we showed that we can also be good in offense last Sunday. We showed that we can really play on both ends of the court.)

READ: Underdog KCS Mandaue walks away with VisMin title

“Plus, nakatulong yung pagiging underdog namin. They (Aquastars) are the favorites of everybody. We have nothing to lose, we just play and see. Like what I always say, we will just try to compete, play, and try to snatch a win,” added Reyes. 

(Plus, our being the underdogs helped. They [Aquastars] are the favorites of everybody. We have nothing to lose, we just play and see. Like what I always say, we will just try to compete, play and try to snatch a win.)

Reyes also mentioned that their success in the VisMin Cup would not be possible without their supporters. 

READ: Against all odds, Verdida builds a champion team

“I’m very thankful to our supporters. Even if the Mandaue City LGU did not support us, I’m so thankful kay boss Ricky Verdida. Also to boss Reynan Sumarago,” said Reyes.

(I’m very thankful to our supporters. Even if the Mandaue City LGU did not support us, I’m so thankful to boss Ricky Verdida. Also to boss Reynan Sumarago.)

“My best friend in Australia, Hernan Siruelo, who has a community there, thank you so much. Their community in Australia actually has a fan club dedicated for us, and they’ve watched all of our games. Salamat sa support ninyo diyan,” he said.

(My best friend in Australia, Hernan Siruelo, who has a community there, thank you so much. Their community in Australia actually has a fan club dedicated for us, and they’ve watched all of our games. Thank you for your support there.)

/dbs

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TAGS: Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City, reyes, Specialist

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