CEBU: The ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes punched a ticket to the semifinal round after beating the Dumaguete City Warriors, 92-76, in the sudden-death quarterfinals of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town here on Sunday, May 2, 202.
Veteran Reed Juntilla exploded with a game-high 33 points and an efficient 16-of-26 shooting from the field to power the Heroes to the semis with second-seed KCS Computer Specialist Mandaue City on its way starting Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The University of the Visayas product also grabbed seven rebounds and one steal.
“Reed Juntilla is Reed Juntilla,” marveled ARQ Builders assistant coach Jerry Abuyabor about the crafty wingman. “He’s finally back! That’s the Reed Juntilla we have been missing for the past games.”
Facing a battered and exhausted Warriors squad, which was coming off a 67-65 overtime win against the Tabogon Voyagers in the playoffs last night, the Heroes seized the advantage in the third canto, ending it with a backbreaking 14-2 run to take a 64-52 edge, heading into the final frame.
Lapu-Lapu City raised its lead to as much as 15 points in the final frame. Dumaguete City, though, did not go out without a fight as it cut down the deficit to six, 71-77.
However, that was the closest the Warriors could get as the Heroes kept Dumaguete City at bay with Juntilla putting the nail in the coffin with a dagger trey to pad the lead to 12 points, 88-76, with 2:07 left to play.
Ferdinand Lusdoc contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Dawn Ochea chipped in 10 points, seven boards, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot for the Lapu-Lapu City.
Ex-Philippine Basketball Association player Jerick Cañada orchestrated the team’s offense to near perfection as he dished out 12 assists while Hofer Mondragon played solid on the defensive end with 11 rebounds and two blocks.
“Our guards did a good job running on the transition. We give a lot of credit to Jerick, (John) Abad and Rendell (Senining),” shared Abuyabor. “They were there to lead the boys to victory.”
Mark Doligon had 18 points, six boards, three assists, two steals and a block. The Warriors, though, missed the usual production of star guard Jaybie Mantilla, who managed just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting.
ARQ Builders has a tough task ahead of it with a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the well-rested KCS Computer Specialist.
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