ALCANTARA—The ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu Heroes rode the hot hands of veteran wingman Reed Juntilla as they gave the boot to the Dumaguete Warriors after winning, 92-76, in the knockout quarterfinals of the Chooks-to-Go VisMin Super Cup on Saturday night at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.
The victory gave ARQ the last ticket to the semifinal round where they will take on the KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue on Tuesday, with the latter owning a crucial twice-to-beat advantage.
Juntilla had his best performance of the competition so far, tallying 33 points on an efficient 16-of-26 shooting from the field. The University of the Visayas product added seven rebounds and a steal to power ARQ to the next round.
“Reed Juntilla is Reed Juntilla,” marveled ARQ assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor of the crafty wingman. “He’s finally back! That’s the Reed Juntilla we have been missing for the past games!”
Facing a battered and exhausted Dumaguete squad, ARQ seized the advantage in the third which they ended with a 14-2 run to take a 64-52 lead to the fourth. They raised their lead to 15 early in the fourth but the Warriors persevered and sliced the deficit to just six, 71-77, as Ronald Roy caught fire and scored 11 straight points, highlighted by three straight three-pointers.
However, ARQ simply had too much talent, length and height as center Rino Berame scored on a putback and a short jumper to bring their lead back to 10, 85-75. Juntilla then hammered the final nail in Dumaguete’s coffin, hitting a triple from the wing to put ARQ up by 12, 88-76, with just 2:07 remaining in the game.
Ferdinand Lusdoc also had a huge impact in the victory by ARQ has he had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Dawn Ochea chipped in 10 points, seven boards, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot.
Veteran point guard Jerick Cañada masterfully orchestrated ARQ’s offense and compiled 12 assists.
“Our guards did a good job running on the transition. We give a lot of credit to Jerick, (John) Abad and Rendell (Senining),” shared Abuyabor. “They were there to lead the boys to victory.”
Roy paced Dumaguete with 30 points and eight rebounds while Mark Doligon had 18 points, six boards, three assists, two steals and a block. The Warriors, though, missed the usual production of star guard Jaybie Mantilla who managed just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting.
ARQ Lapu-Lapu (92)—Juntilla 33, Lusdoc 16, Ochea 10, Senining 7, M. Arong 6, Berame 6, F. Arong 6, Galvez 4, Cañada 2, Mondragon 2, Solis 0, Abad 0, Tangkay 0, Regero 0
Dumaguete (76)—Roy 30, Doligon 18, Regalado 8, Mantilla 7, Monteclaro 6, Gabas 5, Tomilloso 2, Ramirez 0, Velasquez 0, Gonzalgo 0
QUARTERSCORES: 22-21, 40-42, 64-52, 92-76