Juntilla sparks ARQ Heroes to second win in Super Cup

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - April 14, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Reed Juntilla pumped in all of his 12 points in a fierce third-quarter assault as the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes fended off the Dumaguete City Warriors, 67-57, for their second straight win in the Visayas leg of the first ever Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup season yesterday at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town southeast of Cebu.

The victory placed ARQ at the top of the standings with a perfect 2-0 record while Dumaguete suffered their second loss in as many games.

The Heroes groped for form in the first half, enabling the Warriors to take a 34-30 edge after consecutive 3-pointers by guard Nikki Monteclaro but Juntilla went, unloading eight straight points in a blistering 16-3 rally that turned the tide of the match in Lapu-Lapu’s favor with a 46-37 advantage entering the final 10-minute zone of the contest.

After the Warriors pulled within 45-50, Ferdinand Lusdoc and Jojo Tangkay rattled nine points in a row before Dawn Hynrick Ochea hit two free throws capping an 11-0 blitz that gave the Heroes their biggest lead at 16 points, 61-45, with only five minutes left to play.

The closest the Warriors could come from there was at 54-61 as the Heroes held on their ground to preserve a double-digit win.

“Sa first half, nag-struggle talaga kami sa aming defense at communication sa offense kaya nag-adjust kami sa third quarter,” said Juntilla, a champion player with the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers during his collegiate days.

The Carmen, Cebu-native Juntilla, who also had four rebounds and three assists, was named Player of the Game.

ARQ head coach Francis Auquico heaped praise on Juntilla, who he said the team depends on for some much-needed scoring.

“Si Reed (Juntilla), inaasahan talaga namin yung scoring niya,” said Auquico. “I’m glad that he delivered when we needed him.”

Lusdoc also shined bright for the Heroes with 14 points, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal, while team captain Jerick Cañada had an all-around game, piling up nine points, eight rebounds, and six assists for Lapu-Lapu, which looks to rack up its third victory in a row when it battles the Siquijor Mystics in the opener of today’s triple-header set to start at 2 p.m.

Monteclaro fired six triples on his way to scoring 20 points for Dumaguete. Mark Doligon added 12 while Nacpil finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards in a losing effort.

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