Talisay Aquastars fend off depleted Heroes to go 3-0

(The Freeman) - April 18, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The MJAS Zenith-Talisay City Aquastars weathered a spirited resistance by the heavily undermanned ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes to walk away with an 84-75 victory in a battle of unbeaten teams in the inaugural Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup season yesterday at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town southwest of Cebu.

Despite playing without their head coach Francis Martin Auquico and some of their key players who were suspended in the wake of their controversial match against the Siquijor Mystics last Wednesday (April 14), the Heroes were in fighting mood all throughout the 40-minute skirmish.

The Heroes even went ahead on several occasions, the last was at 67-64 on a 3-pointer by Hafer Mondragon at the final seven-minute mark of the contest as the Aquastars countered with a searing 16-2 run to put the game away, 80-69, with only 2:34 left to play.

Team captain Paolo Hubalde scattered 16 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists as the Aquastars took the solo lead in the Visayas leg of the upstart league with a perfect 3-0 record. He was ably backed up by Jhaymo Aguilos with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Cebuano “Assassin” Patrick Cabahug, who unloaded 17 points on top of five rebounds and four assists.

Vincent Minguito stepped up for ARQ Lapu-Lapu with 13 points and seven boards. Chris Regero nailed 12 markers and four rebounds, while Jerrick Cañada nearly registered a triple-double with his league-record of 15 assists laced with 10 points and eight rebounds but to no avail as the Heroes saw their two-game winning streak come to a sudden halt. — EBV

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