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Exciminiano finds groove as KCS-Mandaue thrashes Dumaguete to end VisMin elims

ALCANTARA—KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City dominated Dumaguete, 78-50 to end its Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup-Visayas Leg elimination round campaign on a rousing note, Friday at the Civic Center here in Cebu.

The win gave KCS an 8-2 record at the end of the double round-robin elims and it will now wait for its opponent in the semifinals, which begins on Tuesday, May 4. Mandaue City will have a twice-to-beat advantage against its foe in the semis.

More than the victory, KCS head coach Mike Reyes was pleased with his team’s grasp of their defensive schemes, which he said will prove vital against their opponent in the semifinals.

“Of course, maganda ang morale nila pero mas importante is our defensive schemes are getting more consistent than before. We are also addressing the rebounding. I think we are more than ready for the semis,” shared Reyes.

Facing an opponent that was just coming off a tough win versus Tabogon on Thursday night, KCS did not hesitate to pounce and quickly erected a 17-point lead at halftime, 37-20.

Dumaguete’s star guard Jaybie Mantilla—who almost had a quadruple-double in their 90-85 win against the Voyagers—played just 12 minutes and did not see action in the second half after suffering a leg cramp.

The second half was all KCS as Ping Exciminiano, who had been hampered by a strained hamstring all tournament long, finally got going, scoring on strong drives to the basket to lead the team to the 28-point victory.

Exciminiano, who averaged just 0.5 points and 1.0 rebounds prior to this game,  finished with a team-high 16 points along with four rebounds and three steals.

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Assistant coach Jabby Bautista relayed that he and the rest of the squad are just happy to see Exciminiano, who ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing in a panalay game back in January of 2020, out on the floor once again.

“Getting better na si Ping. His groove sa game is medyo okay na. Pero ayun nga every time tatakbo siya, natatakot kami,” said Bautista with a chuckle. “Good thing is okay naman ngayon. Lahat masaya kasi he’s back!”

Bruising forward Red Cachuela and Phil Mercader also had solid games with nine points each, with the former adding 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while the latter piling on five boards and a dime.

Gryann Mendoza was all over the stat sheet as well, compiling seven points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block.

Dumaguete finished the elims with a 2-8 mark.

If Tubigon Bohol stuns no. 3 ARQ Lapu-Lapu in the last game of the round later, the Warriors will face the Heroes in the knockout playoffs tomorrow. A Mariners loss however will lift Dumaguete to fifth place and a match-up against no. 4 Tabogon.

James Regalado and Hero Tomilloso had 11 points each for the Warriors.

The Scores:

KCS-Mandaue (78)—Exciminiano 16, Cachuela 9, Mercader 9, Nalos 7, Mendoza 7, Bongaciso 6 Castro 5, Delator 5, Soliva 4, Sorela 4, Roncal 2, Bregondo 2, Tamsi 2.

Dumaguete (50)—Regalado 11, Tomilloso 11, Velasquez 7, Gonzalgo 5, Gabas 5, Doligon 5, Mantilla 4, Porlares 2, Aguilar 0.

Quarterscores: 16-8, 37-20, 56-37, 78-50

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