|Paulo Hubalde helped the Aquastars get past the undermanned yet gritty Heroes. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup|
ALCANTARA--MJAS Zenith-Talisay City kept their perfect run in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup going after outlasting ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City, 84-75, Saturday afternoon at the Civic Center in Southern Cebu.
The win bumped MJAS’ win-loss record to an immaculate 4-0 while ARQ suffered their first loss in three games.
Despite missing some of their best players due to the swath of suspensions that were slapped on the team in the wake of their controversial match against the Siquijor Mystics earlier in the week, the Heroes played with focus and ferocity and even held a 67-64 lead with six minutes left in the fourth after a triple by Hafer Mondragon.
However, the Aquastars started humming as Patrick Cabahug tied the game with a triple and later, gave his team the lead with a layup.
Darrell Shane Menina and Hubalde then got in on the scoring parade hitting two three-pointers while big man Jhaymo Eguilos capped off the huge 16-2 run with a three-point play that put MJAS ahead, 80-69, with just 2:34 remaining.
Prior to this game, the Aquastars previously won all three games via blowouts.
But with the match against ARQ going down the wire, MJAS head coach Aldrin Morante said it was a wake-up call to his team.
“Kailangan talaga magising ang team namin,” said Morante. “Lahat ng teams dito gusto kami talunin. Magigising talaga kami ngayon.”
Eguilos led Talisay City with 18 points and eight rebounds while Cabahug finished with 17 points, five boards, four assists, and two steals.
Hubalde, MJAS’ ever-reliable court general, flirted with a triple-double with 16 points, seven boards, and nine assists.
The Heroes missed the services of Jojo Tangkay, Reed Juntilla, Monbert Arong, Dawn Ochea, and Ferdinand Lusdoc as they are still serving their round-long suspension.
Vincent Minguito was ARQ’s high-point man with 13 points. He also grabbed seven boards and blocked five shots.
Homegrown talent Chris Regero added 12 while Jerick Cañada filled the stat-sheet up with 10 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds.
MJAS-Talisay closes its first round campaign against Tabogon on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ARQ-Lapu Lapu, on the other hand, takes on Tubigon Bohol on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
Talisay City (84)—Eguilos 18, Cabahug 17, Hubalde 16, Gimpayan 9, Menina 9, Mojica 6, Santos 4, Villafranca 2, Moralde 0, Alvarez 0, Jamon 0.
Lapu-Lapu City (75)—Minguito 13, Regero 12, Cañada 10, Arong 10, Mondragon 9, Berame 8, Abad 4, Solis 0, Igot 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 40-39, 55-54, 84-75
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