ALCANTARA — The MJAS Zenith-Talisay City Aquastars advanced to the Visayas leg finals outright after they completed a sweep of the elimination round with a 99-62 rout of the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu Heroes in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Thursday afternoon at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.
The win gave Talisay City an immaculate 10-0 (win-loss) record after the double round-robin elims, which earned them an automatic spot in the Visayas leg finals. The development meant the rest of the field would have to play in a stepladder format to determine who will get the other ticket in the best-of-three finals.
In this format, the second seed would advance to the semifinals where they will have a twice-to-beat advantage. The third and sixth seeds, as well as the fourth and fifth seeds, would compete in knockout games where the winners would face one another for the right to take on the second-seed in the semis.
The Aquastars rode the red-hot shooting of the “Cebuano Sniper” Patrick Jan Cabahug in the first period, where he tallied nine, to help the team establish a 24-9 lead. From there, it was all Talisay City as Lapu-Lapu struggled to find the basket and did not get the deficit down to double-digits, going only as close as 12 the rest of the way.
Talisay City closed out the game in dominant fashion, outscoring Lapu-Lapu, 30-11, in the fourth period, highlighted by a pair of slam dunks from the high-leaping Jaymar Gimpayan.
Cabahug finished with 22 points spiked by five triples while Kevin Villafranca helped out with 12 points, five boards and two assists. Darrell Shane Menina came off the bench and tallied 11 points, four boards, four dimes and two steals while wide-bodied big man Allan Santos missed out on a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Aquastars’ skipper Paulo Hubalde also orchestrated Talisay City’s offense to perfection and finished with a near triple-double of six points, seven boards and 13 assists.
Ferdinand Lusdoc paced ARQ with 12 points while Jojo Tangkay and Chris Regero chipped in 10 markers apiece. The Heroes struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 31% including a paltry 4-of-22 from beyond the arc. The loss dropped them to 4-5 with just one more game left on their elims schedule.
MJAS-Talisay (99)—Cabahug 22, Villafranca 12, Menina 11, Santos 10, Eguilos 9, Gimpayan 8, Jamon 8, Hubalde 6, Acuña 6, Mojica 5, Moralde 2, Casajeros 0, Alvarez 0
ARQ Lapu-Lapu (62)—Lusdoc 12, Tangkay 10, Regero 10, M. Arong 5, Ochea 4, Abad 4, Senining 4, Juntilla 4, Berame 3, Galvez 2, Mondragon 2, Igot 2, Solis 0, F. Arong 0
QUARTERSCORES: 24-9, 41-26, 69-51, 99-62