Show of force

THE KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue and the MJAS Zenith-Talisay City Aquastars opened their respective campaigns in dominant fashion, claiming easy wins over their opponents at the start of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Alcantara Civic Center.

The sleepy southern town of Alcantara has suddenly become the country’s hoops hotbed with the VisMin Cup being the only basketball tournament playing right now. And MJAS and KCS did not disappoint, putting up convincing victories at the start of the Visayas leg of the country’s very first professional basketball league in the south.

KCS pulled away in the fourth to vanquish the Siquijor Mystics, 66-46, while MJAS Zenith crushed the Tubigon Bohol Mariners, 104-66.

KCS led by 20 early but saw their lead dwindle to as little as five, 42-37, late in the third canto. However, KCS got their act together in the payoff period where they held the Mystics to a mere five points to cruise to the win.

Far Eastern University products Gryann Mendoza and Al Francis Tamsi led Mandaue with 17 and 12 points, respectively.

KCS head coach Mike Reyes credited Siquijor’s crafty players who gave his team’s interior defenders fits.

“Minamama kami lahat eh,” said Reyes.“Nagkakamali kami sa defense but we adjusted and ginawa nila ang dapat gawin. The right helpers came and we started fronting the post and that’s when we were able to pull away.”

Miguel Castellano was the lone player to score in double-figures for Siquijor with 14 points to go with eight boards and two assists. Team skipper and former Ateneo star Ryan Buenafe was held scoreless in more than eight minutes of action.

Meanwhile, MJAS Zenith’s Patrick Jan Cabahug was on fire all game long as he led the way for the Aquastars with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The former Adamson Falcon also had two rebounds, an assist and a block in a game that was decidedly over by halftime after Talisay City blitzed Tubigon Bohol in the first half for a massive 58-32 lead.

Jan Jamon added 14 points while Egie Mojica chipped in 11. Jaymar Gimpayan almost had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds while Jaymo Eguilos filled the stat sheet up with nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists, a steal and three blocks.

Talisay City head coach Aldrin Morante was quite pleased with his team’s opening day performance. However, he still saw room for improvement, especially on the defensive end.

“There are lapses on our defense. In the first period, they scored a lot on fast breaks and their big men were able to score in the low post,” Morante said.

Pari Llagas paced Tubigon Bohol with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks while Joseph Marquez had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds to go with four assists.