Lapu-Lapu Heroes crush Voyagers in rousing debut

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - April 11, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes got off to a slow start but launched a furious offensive attack in the middle quarters to dismantle the Tabogon-Cebu Voyagers, 75-61, for an auspicious debut in the Visayas leg of the Chooks-to-Go 2021 Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup yesterday at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town southeast of Cebu.

Leading by only two after the first 10 minutes of play, 15-13, veteran wingman Reed Juntilla and the ageless Jojo Tangkay put their acts together as they combined for 14 points in the second canto where the Heroes outpointed the Voyagers, 23-15, to enjoy a 38-28 spread at the bend.

Dawn Hynrick Ochea then stole the show by churning out eight straight points after a 3-point bomb by John Abad in a searing 11-0 blitz to close the third period that saw Lapu-Lapu’s lead ballooned to 25 points, 63-38.

Tabogon scored the first seven points of the final quarter but that was the Voyagers couldn’t get any closer than 14 points, which turned out to be the Heroes’ winning margin.

Ochea, the Juniors MVP when the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles won their first ever championship in Cebu basketball back in the 2012 CESAFI season, finished with 12 points on a near perfect 5-of-6 shooting from the field. The former Adamson Falcon also grabbed seven boards and issued two assists to bag the best player of the game honors.

Juntilla posted a game-high tying 12 points laced with six assists while Ferdinand Lusdoc was the other double-digit scorer for the Heroes with 10. 

No Tabogon cager hit twin digits.

Like their Lapu-Lapu neighbors, the KCS-Mandaue City Computer Specialists also had a flying start via a 66-46 demolition of the Siquijor Mystics in the main game of last Friday’s season-opening double-header.

Gryann Mendoza and Al Francis Tamsi, who both donned the Far Eastern University (FEU) jersey during their collegiate years, connived for 29 points for the Computer Specialists, who blew hot and cold before starting off their campaign on the right footing.

The Mike Reyes-mentored Mandaue motored to a huge 20-point lead but suddenly lost its steam, allowing the Mystics to crawl within five points, 37-42, late in the third period.

The Computer Specialists, however, wisely made the necessary adjustments to get back in the groove, handcuffing the Mystics to a paltry five points in the final stretch on the way to come up with a blowout victory.

Miguel Castellano was the only player to cash in double figures for Siquijor with 14 points on top of eight rebounds and two assists. Team captain and former Ateneo star Ryan Buenafe went scoreless in just eight minutes on the floor.

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