ALCANTARA — The KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City will try to secure a spot in the Visayas leg finals when they battle the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu Heroes in the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.
Tip-off is at 6 p.m. where KCS needs only to win once to book their ticket in the finals opposite the undefeated MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars. ARQ, though,—with their squad finally complete with the return of ace point guard Jerick Cañada from a hamstring injury—have other plans in mind as they try to grab a win to force a rubbermatch for the other slot in the finals.
ARQ assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor said he and the coaching staff, led by head coach Francis Auquico, just wants the players to focus on the things that they possibly can.
In particular, Abuyabor emphasized that the Heroes need to do well on their transition defense defensive rotations.
“We just want our players to be play their best game as possible,” said Abuyabor of ARQ, which trounced Dumaguete, 92-76 on Sunday to advance to the semis. “We want to focus on things we can control since we’re facing a KCS team that is good in transition and ball movement.”
“We just want our boys to bring their 100 percent on defense and give their best for us to advance into the finals,” he added.
It will be tall task for ARQ considering that KCS has had their number so far in this competition, first beating them 77-66 in the first round before repeating the feat, 75-66, in the second round. The second match was particularly brutal for ARQ as they fell behind by 20, 7-27, after just 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 wingman 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.
“I take our injuries as a blessing in disguise,” shared Reyes. “Because of the injuries, the third group has had an opportunity to show the team what they are capable of.” (JNP)