KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City squeezed past a tenacious Dumaguete team to hammer out a 79-73 win in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Wednesday at the Alcantara Civic Center in Cebu.
Veteran guard Gryann Mendoza and young forward Dyll Roncal willed KCS to victory, providing the finishing kick and assuring Mandaue City its fourth win in five games, good for second in the standings behind the unbeaten MJAS Zenith-Talisay City.
Down 52-65, the Warriors roared back in the fourth and grabbed a 68-67 lead behind Jaybie Mantilla. The two teams went back and forth and tied the count 71-all, but Mendoza split his charities to give KCS a 72-71 lead with 1:18 to go.
Dumaguete tried to bounce back but Mark Doligon missed a layup and KCS quickly took advantage, with Roncal scoring in transition to put them up, 74-71.
Mantilla then missed a potential game-tying triple and Mendoza put the game away on the very next play, as he swished a triple to give KCS a 77-71 cushion with just 28 seconds to go.
Despite the win, KCS head coach Mike Reyes aired his frustrations given their struggles against Dumaguete.
"Maybe we were tired from last night's game but that's not an excuse to let go of a 17-point lead," rued Reyes as his team was up 52-35 midway through the third quarter. "We can't let this happen especially in the second round."
Mendoza continued his string of great performances, this time piling up 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Rhaffy Octobre added 13 points, nine boards, and three assists for KCS, while Roncal contributed 11.
The loss dropped Dumaguete to 1-4 for fifth place at the end of the first round.
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