Despite having an off night in the semis clash against ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu, Gryann Mendoza bounced back big time in their next game to tow KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue to the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Visayas Leg finals.
Mendoza exploded with 25 points, connecting on 5-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc during their do-or-die against ARQ.
He said he couldn't have done it without his fellow PBA veteran, Ping Exciminiano.
"Alam mo, having Ping dito sa team namin, isa siya sa mga hinuhugutan ko ng lakas lalo na pagka-bad game ako. Tumitingin lang ako sa kanya, mas lalo nung injured pa siya, tapos okay na 'ko ulit. Having him cheering for us, malaking bagay na sa amin 'yun," said Mendoza.
Knowing Exciminiano and what he brings to a team, Mendoza requested his coach, Mike Reyes, to have the 6-foot defensive specialist start alongside him during the do-or-die Wednesday evening.
When dragged into the deep waters by ARQ, he again made a request to bring Exciminiano back in with 3:13 left and KCS clinging to just a 64-62 lead.
"Nung latter part ng game, nire-request ko na kay coach na pasok na si Ping. Alam naman ni coach na kailangan namin siya sa pangdiinan. Malaking factor talaga siya sa akin kasi sobrang sipag niya," said Mendoza.
Mandaue eventually outlasted Lapu-Lapu, 74-64, to set a best-of-three finals with unbeaten MJAS Zenith-Talisay City.
They will meet MJAS Zenith-Talisay on Friday.
For Mendoza, it's the moment he and Exciminiano have been waiting for.
"Malaking opportunity talaga ito. Pero as of now, wala pa sa isip ko yan eh, kasi nasa cloud nine pa ako ngayon. Pero for sure, malaking bagay ito para sa career namin," he said.
"Excited ako na maramdaman 'yung panalo sa kanila. 'Yun 'yung motivation ko -- maramdaman 'yung feeling na matalo sila. From there, bahala na."