ALCANTARA—The MJAS Zenith-Talisay City Aquastars kept their perfect run in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Cup going as they defeated the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes, 84-75, on Saturday afternoon at the Alcantara Civic Center in the municipality of Alcantara in the southern part of 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 was 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 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.
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.
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