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MJAS-Talisay, KCS-Mandaue begin showdown for Visayas crown

(The Freeman) - May 7, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The MJAS Zenith-Talisay City Aquastars return to action after a week-long break but with much higher stakes in play as they take on KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue City in Game 1 of the best-of-three Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup-Visayas leg finals today at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.

Tip-off is at 7 pm.

The Aquastars gained outright championship berth after completing a 10-game sweep in the double round robin elimination, which includes a double victory against KCS-Mandaue via a 77-57 demolition last April 13 and a much-closer 81-73 decision 11 days later.

All their previous accomplishments, though, mean nothing to Aquastars head coach Aldrin Morante, who said they must stay hungry if they are to come out on top of this impending battle.

“We’re back to 0-0,” said Morante. “Forget about 10-0. This is the finals and we need to stay hungry and we need to stay sharp.”

While Morante admits that practice pales in comparison to actual game, he says their scrimmages have been fierce, which bodes well for their preparation.

Come Game 1, the soft-spoken coach says he wants his players to pay close attention to KCS’ top gunsin Gryann Mendoza and Ping Exciminiano.

“We can’t be complacent on any of them and we have to limit their scoring since they’re the ones who give life to KCS,” Morante shared. “KCS is a heavy-hitter and we all need to stay focused.”

On the other hand, KCS-Mandaue advanced to the finals after eliminating ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes, 74-64, on Thursday night.

The Computer Specialists have no time to rest as they seek to become more efficient on both ends of the floor.

Limiting Talisay’s court general Paulo Hubalde is also high on their list, says head coach Mike Reyes.

Hubalde has been the maestro for Talisay’s offense. In both of their wins against KCS, the heady guard averaged eight assists per outing.

For his part, KCS assistant coach Jabby Bautista said they have a tall task ahead of them but he’s confident their team can give Talisay a run for their money if they play with both passion and intensity.

“Talisay is stronger faster and bigger,” Bautista quipped. “But if we just play our game, play like there is no tomorrow, play like how we played against ARQ last night (Wednesday), I think we can do it.” — EBV with Vismin Super Cup Media Bureau

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