ALCANTARA — KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City finished the first round on a winning note, eking past a resilient Dumaguete team, 79-73, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Wednesday at the Civic Center here in Cebu.
Veteran guard Gryann Mendoza and young forward Dyll Roncal gave KCS the finishing kick it needed to vanquish the Warriors down the stretch and finish the first round of eliminations with a 4-1 record, good for second in the standings behind the unbeaten MJAS Zenith-Talisay City, which owns a perfect 5-0 mark.
Down 13, 52-65, the Warriors roared in the fourth and even grabbed the lead, 68-67, behind a sizzling 16-2 run anchored on the frenetic play of jitterbug guard Jaybie Mantilla. The two teams went back and forth and with the game tied at 71-all, Mendoza made one of two from the charity stripe to give KCS a 72-71 lead, time down to 1:18.
Dumaguete tried to retake the lead on the next play but Mark Doligon missed a layup and KCS quickly took advantage, with Roncal scoring in transition to put them up, 74-71. Mantilla then missed a potential game-tying triple and Mendoza put the game away on the very next play, as he swished a triple to give KCS a 77-71 cushion with just 28 seconds to go.
Disappointed was KCS head coach Mike Reyes as the team struggled to close out Dumaguete.
“Maybe we were tired from last night’s game but that’s not an excuse to let go of a 17 point lead,” rued Reyes as his team was up 52-35 midway through the third canto. “We can’t let this happen especially in the second round.”
Mendoza continued his string of great performances, this time piling up 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Rhaffy Octobre added 13 points, nine boards, and three assists for KCS while Roncal contributed 11.
The loss dropped Dumaguete to 1-4 to sit at fifth to end of the first round.
Mantilla, a former MVP of the CESAFI, led the Warriors with 21 points, five boards, four assists, and four steals. Doligon and Ronald Roy had 13 markers apiece.
KCS-Mandaue opens its second round campaign on Friday against arch-rival ARQ Lapu-Lapu at 7:00PM. Dumaguete, on the other hand, will have a long break before facing the same ARQ as well on Saturday at 4:00PM.
KCS-Mandaue (79) –– Mendoza 20, October 13, Roncal 11, Solera 6, Bongaciso 6, Cachuela 6, Castro 5, Imperial 4, Soliva 3, Delator 2, Tamsi 2, Nalos 1, Mercader 0.
Dumaguete (73) — Mantilla 21, Doligon 13, Roy 13, Regalado 6, Gabas 6, Velasquez 6, Aguilar 4, Tomilloso 2, Gonzalgo 2, Porlares 0.
Quarterscores: 21-21, 43-33, 65-62, 79-73