KCS Mandaue out to end ARQ Lapu-Lapu's run in VisMin Cup

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2021 06:24 AM

Jerick Cañada and ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu hope to keep their season alive against KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup. Photo courtesy of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas.

MANILA, Philippines -- KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City will try to secure a spot in the Visayas Leg finals when it battles ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu in the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Tuesday at the Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.

KCS owns a twice-to-beat advantage, and thus just needs one win in order to book their ticket in the best-of-three Visayas Leg finals opposite undefeated MJAS Zenith Talisay City.

Game time is at 6 p.m.

ARQ is determined to force a rubber match and extend their season, however. Lapu-Lapu is upbeat heading into the game, thanks to the return of ace point guard Jerick Cañada from a hamstring injury.

"We just want our players to play their best game as possible," said ARQ assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor after their 92-76 demolition of Dumaguete on Sunday to book their place in the semifinals.

"We want to focus on things we can control since we’re facing a KCS team that is good in transition and ball movement," he added. "We just want our boys to bring their 100-percent on defense and give their best for us to advance into the finals."

KCS has had ARQ's number so far in the VisMin Cup, claiming a 77-66 win in their first meeting and then a 75-66 victory in the second. The second match was particularly brutal for ARQ as they fell behind by 20, 7-27, after just the first 10 minutes of action.

Despite their dominance over ARQ, KCS head coach Mike Reyes is not taking any chances, especially against a squad filled with seasoned veterans such as Reed Juntilla, Jojo Tangkay, and Ferdinand Lusdoc—players he's very familiar with owing to their time together in many commercial basketball leagues in years past.

"We'll have the same strategy as our second round game. We have to limit Tangkay, Lusdoc, and Reed," said Reyes. "We'll make a few adjustments on defense and offense but mostly, just mental preparation."

Like ARQ, KCS is now also at full strength with the return of combo guard Ping Exciminiano and big man Bernie Bregondo, both of whom have missed substantial time because of hamstring injuries. 

Reyes, though, saw the injuries as blessings in disguise as it has allowed his reserves to showcase their skills as well.

"The third group has had an opportunity to show the team what they are capable of," he explained.

The finals will begin on either Thursday or Friday, depending on whether the semis series reaches the limit.

The champion of the Visayas leg will wait on the kings of Mindanao for the best-of-five grand finals.