MANILA, Philippines -- ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu kept its season alive with a stunning 67-52 rout of KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue in the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday at the Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.
The result set up a rematch between the two teams on Wednesday night, with the winner moving on to the best-of-three Visayas leg finals against the unbeaten MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars on Friday.
Reed Juntilla was once again the hero for Lapu-Lapu, netting 19 points including a crucial four-point play that kept KCS at bay. He added six rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block.
While Juntilla took care of the perimeter scoring, Dawn Ochea held the fort inside as he scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to power ARQ to the do-or-die game.
With Juntilla and Ochea firing on all cylinders in the first half, ARQ raced off to a 39-29 lead at halftime. They maintained their inspired play in the third to bring a 51-40 lead to the final period of action.
Juntilla then sparked ARQ's final breakaway with a huge four-point play that was soon followed by a short jumper by Fletcher Galvez, a hook shot by Ochea, and a shot clock-beating triple by Rendell Senining that gave them a 67-49 lead with just 2:43 remaining in the game.
ARQ also dominated the rebounding battle, outhustling KCS, 67-51. Hafer Mondragon pulled down 14 boards while Jojo Tangkay hauled in eight to go along with five steals.
ARQ assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor said that every member of the team was locked in from the get-go, which played a huge factor in their season-preserving win.
"The big difference was everyone responded well. Everybody chipped in in their own little way," said Abuyabor. "Kahit yung bench namin was so positive, talking and encouraging one another."
"We played as a team," he added.
KCS struggled from the field, making just 17 of their 71 attempts. No one reached double figures for Mandaue, with Al Francis Tamsi leading the way with nine points and Shaquille Imperial adding eight.
KCS's Gryann Mendoza, was held down to just five markers after averaging 11.6 points during the regular season.
ARQ Lapu-Lapu (67)—Juntilla 19, Ochea 15, Senining 8, Tangkay 8, Lusdoc 6, Galvez 4, Mondragon 3, M. Arong 2, Minguito 1, Berame 1, Cañada 0, Abad 0, Regero 0.
KCS-Mandaue (52)—Tamsi 9, Imperial 8, Exciminiano 6, Octobre 5, Sorela 5, Mendoza 5, Soliva 3, Delator 2, Roncal 2, Nalos 2, Mercader 2, Bongaciso 2, Cachuela 1, Bregondo 0, Castro 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 39-29, 51-40, 67-52.