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MJAS Zenith-Talisay, KCS-Mandaue clash in match-up of VisMin contenders


ALCANTARA — MJAS Zenith-Talisay City and KCS-Mandaue City square off on Tuesday in a match-up that will gauge their standing early in the season in the Visayas leg of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. at the Alcantara Civic Center here as the Aquastars and the Computer Specialists try to grab hold of the early lead in the standings after they opened their respective campaigns with convincing victories.

The Aquastars routed the Bohol Mariners, 104-66, with Patrick Cabahug tallying 22 points in a mere 17 minutes of action. Meanwhile, KCS pulled away from the Siquijor Mystics in the fourth period and came away with a 66-46 victory. Gryann Mendoza led KCS in that match with 17 points.

KCS head coach Mike Reyes said Talisay City’s squad is so stacked with talented players that he can’t single out one to properly pay attention to. He added that this match will give him and the rest of his squad a clear picture of where they stand in the very first professional basketball league in the south.

“This will be the real test of who we are as a team. How we will be able to execute on defense will be the key,” said Reyes.

Mandaue though will not have the services of big man Bernie Bregondo who suffered an injury during the team’s practice session last Monday.

Meanwhile, MJAS Zenith skipper Paulo Hubalde said the coaching staff and the players have done their due diligence on KCS and will come to the game prepared.

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“Na-scout namin game nila and we’ve made adjustments on how they attack and marking their main guys,” said Hubalde. “We have a game plan for them.”

Also gunning for their second win will be the ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes, which will be taking on the Dumaguete Warriors at 2 p.m. The Heroes opened their campaign with a 75-61 shellacking of the Tabogon Voyagers.

ARQ head coach Francis Auquico shared that he feels wary of the Warriors, especially after they lost their first game, 100-105, to Siquijor.

“We expect them to play hard and they will bounce back kasi nung first game nila natalo sila,” said the youthful mentor. “Yun kasi ang delikado, a team na galing sa talo.”

Auquico added that his team—which has a mix of young studs like Shaq Imperial, Rendell Senining, and Dawn Ochea and veteran cagers such as Jojo Tangkay, Rino Berame, Hafer Mondragon, and Ferdinand Lusdoc—is still getting used to playing with one another.

“During our practice yesterday, nag focus po kami sa offense namin because sa last game, medyo masama yung execution naming,” said Auquico. “We are telling our players to adjust sa kanilang mga kasama because some of them, bago palang nagsama sa isang team.”

The Voyagers and the Mariners will also try to break into the win column when they tangle at 4 p.m. Bohol will need more support for veterans Pari Llagas and Joseph Marquez who paced the team in scoring in their loss to Talisay, with 19 and 13 points, respectively. The Mariners, on the other hand, are hoping Harold Arboleda can provide more firepower as he ended up scoreless in their first game while attempting just two shots in eight minutes of action.

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