Cesafi standouts now dominate KCS-Mandaue roster
Lineup a mix of SWU, UV players
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The reigning Visayas leg champions of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Vismin Super Cup, the KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City, will be heading to the National Finals with a roster composed mostly of Cesafi standouts.
This as the Specialists lineup was reduced to 11 after reigning finals MVP Ping Exciminiano, mythical-five member Gryann Mendoza, and sharpshooter Alfrancis Tamsi decided not to play for the national finals in August as they have responsibilities with their mother teams in the PBA. Jonel Bongaciso also decided to back out due to personal reasons.
This leaves veteran coach Mike Reyes with a roster composed of players from his Cesafi champion team Southwestern University (SWU) Phinma Cobras and the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.
“We cannot question God’s decision about that. Nandyan na yan eh. The four players cannot play. So, it means, that the remaining players have to step up. It’s also God’s plan for them to shine. It’s your turn to prove what you can do,” Reyes told CDN Digital.
The team’s current roster is composed of SWU players Shaq Imperial, Dyll Roncal, Bernie Bregondo, Steve Castro, Joseph Nalos, and Red Louis Cachuela, and UV standouts Rhaffy Octobre, Monic Soliva, Phil Mercader, and Gileant Delator.
Michole Solera, a former San Beda Red Lion, completes the team’s roster for the national finals.
KCS-Mandaue will take on the winner of the Mindanao leg, which is still ongoing.
“We have to be efficient on both ends offensively and defensively. Offensively, we have to value every possession, defensively we have to be efficient, giving our opponents a hard time the whole game,” said Reyes.
Reyes revealed that the league officials allowed them to get two new players, but everyone he approached backed out due to other responsibilities with their mother teams.
Also, the team is hesitant to add more players due to budget constraints.
Despite the struggles the team is facing, Reyes praised his current roster, who used to be rivals in the Cesafi, Cebu’s collegiate sports league.
UV and SWU actually fought for the Cesafi title in 2019 with the Cobras, behind 2019 MVP Imperial, winning the crown.
READ: SWU-Phinma dethrones UV
He is surprised how UV’s players are very attentive to his coaching style.
“Surprisingly, I was guided with good decisions I made in choosing these players. They are very good listeners,” said Reyes.
Roncal, the team’s forward is very willing to heed Reyes’ call to contribute on both ends of the floor. He said that he is very willing to take the responsibility for his team.
“We didn’t make so much adjustments, but sa amoa lang karun kay we must think na dapat everytime na naa mi inside the court dapat mi mo contribute not only sa offense but most especially sa defense. Mao gyud na amo importante sa team,though dako-dako gyud ug impact kay puro jud key players ang wala sa amoa karun,” said Roncal.
Roncal added that it will be very challenging not just for him but for the entire team. But they need to step up and put more effort in their role.
“For me lang, mo duwa lang gyud ko sa ako role sa team and put more effort kay bihira ni na moabot sa national finals,” added Roncal.
Mercader, one of the key veterans in the team who has won numerous titles with UV, said that he is ready to take on the challenge despite being undermanned.
“Gahapon gipangutana mi ni coach if willing pa ba mi moduwa and compete sa national finals but if moadto lang mi just to play for nothing, dili nalang mi modayun,” said Mercader.
“Ako, dili gyud ko 100 percent ready tungod sa knee problem but dili ni reason nako nga mo stop as long as kaya nako moduwa, ako ihatag ako makaya just to help the team bisag ginagmay ra ako ma convert,” added Mercader.
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