ALCANTARA, CEBU—Heading to their finals clash with the MJAS Zenith-Talisay City in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, KCS head coach Mike Reyes knew they had no shot of winning the title if they went toe to toe on offense with the Aquastars, a team that boasted of an impressive collection of skilled scorers led by Paulo Hubalde, Patrick Cabahug and season MVP, Jaymar Gimpayan.
And so, the veteran coach went with what he knew best—defense. And play hellacious defense his team did, taking Game Three of the best-of-three finals, 89-75, to capture the Visayas title.
Talisay City had been running roughshod over the rest of the field in the elimination round, winning every single game en route to a perfect 10-0 record. They were also the most potent offensive team in the tournament, averaging a league-leading 90 points scored per game.
KCS, though, brought them down to earth, limiting Talisay to just 68 points in the series with their highest output being the 75 points they had in their 14-point loss in the winner-take-all game.
“That’s all we talked about. I told them ‘let’s try to make history since this is the first. Let’s give them 40 minutes of hell!’” shared Reyes.
The title is Reyes’ second in a row not long after he led the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) men’s basketball championship with an upset win over the erstwhile champions, University of the Visayas Green Lancers.
Reyes shared that he’s grateful to the players for letting him connect and work with them.
"Of course, it's really satisfying. I'm getting the hearts of the players and that is why they responded," said Reyes. "That is what I am truly believing in, that I captured their hearts." (JNP)