MANILA, Philippines – KCS Mandaue made history in style, completing a Cinderella run against heavy favorite MJAS Zenith-Talisay to hoist the first-ever Visayas leg crown of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup over the weekend at the Alcantara Civic Center in Cebu.
After surviving the stepladder playoffs just to earn a shot at automatic finalist and unbeaten Talisay, Mandaue thrived when it mattered the most with a convincing 89-75 win in the winner-take-all match of the best-of-three finale.
Mandaue also bagged a whopping prize of P500,000 courtesy of Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas as Ping Exciminiano was crowned Finals MVP.
For the veteran guard though, the feat meant even bigger as this became his sweet redemption after a gruesome Achilles injury that almost ended his career a year ago.
Exciminiano said it would have not been possible without the blessing of mother team TNT Tropang Giga in the PBA to allow his Mandaue stint under coach Mike Reyes, brother of returning TNT mentor Chot and uncle of assistant coach Josh.
"Sobrang blessed ako after all ng mga nangyari sa akin. Thank God na kinuha ako ni Coach Mike at pinapunta ako dito ni Coach Josh at ng TNT. Nagpapasalamat ako sa opportunity na ito at naka-champion pa first time sa career ko,” he said after norming 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in the three-game duel.
Mandaue’s historic title also put coach Reyes into his own fitting place with now two championships under his belt after guiding Southwestern University to the CESAFI crown in 2019.
"Yun naman pinag-usapan namin, Let's try to make history. Unang-una 'to,” he said.
Exciminiano, Reyes and the entire Mandaue squad will shoot for more history in Lanao Del Norte in August for the VisMin Super Cup grand finals against the winner of the Mindanao leg set to open this month.
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