MANILA, Philippines – After surviving a dreaded double-knockout quarterfinals, the resilient ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu squad is keen on thriving anew in another sudden death against twice-to-beat armed KCS Mandaue in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup semifinals Tuesday at the Alcantara Civic Center in Cebu.
There’s no retreating nor surrendering for the fatigued but determined Heroes at 6 p.m., when they clash against the well-rested Computer Specialists for a shot at forging a deciding Game Two of the Visayas leg semis.
“We just want our players to play their best game as possible. We just want our boys to bring their 100% on defense and give their best for us to (have a chance) to advance into the finals,” said deputy coach Jerry Abuyabor after Lapu-Lapu defied odds with two straight elimination game wins.
As the No. 3 seed, Lapu-Lapu was dragged into a tough win-or-go-home stepladder quarters which they survived after booting out Tubigon Bohol, 73-69, and Dumaguete, 92-76, with the lead of Reed Juntilla, Jojo Tangkay, Dawn Ochea and Ferdinand Lusdoc.
But it will be tall order against against Mandaue, which swept Lapu-Lapu in the elims (77-66, 75-66) and is riding on a three-day layoff after sealing the No. 2 seed plus a win-once bonus last week.
“We’ll have the same strategy as our second-round game. We have to limit Tangkay, Lusdoc, and Juntilla,” said mentor Mike Reyes as Mandaue eyes to maximize its semis incentive.
Returning ace Ping Exciminiano along with Gryann Mendoza, Gileant Delator, Dyll Roncal and captain Joseph Nalos will banner Mandaue’s bid to end Lapu-Lapu’s run and arrange a quick championship duel with unbeaten Talisay in the finals.
Talisay clinched an automatic ticket in the best-of-three championship series after completing a 10-0 sweep of the elims.
The winner of the Visayas leg will advance to the VisMin Super Cup grand finals against the titlist of Mindanao leg, which is slated to open later this month.
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