- Gab Cometa made 23 points and 11 assists for Mandaue City
- Mandaue trailed 30-46, rallied with a 25-2 run to regain the lead for good at the 5:00 of the 3rd
- After scoring 46 points in the first half, Talisay City scored only 30 in the final half
- Deciding Game 3 is on Saturday at the USC Gym at exactly 3PM
THE Cebu Governor’s Cup 2019 Inter-Cities/Municipalities Basketball Tournament needed one more game to determine who will take the crown as Mandaue City Ballers sent the series to a winner-take-all game on Saturday following an emphatic 94-76 win over the reigning champions Talisay City Aquastars in Game 2 of the best-of-3 championship series at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex Thursday evening.
Mandaue City surprised everyone with a complete turn-around after trailing by as many as 16 points in the second period.
But when it seemed the Aquastars would be going home with the P500,000 cash prize and the bragging right as the first back-to-back champions of the Governor’s Cup, Mandaue City dropped the unexpected.
“Yeah, it was a gamble on our part. Everybody thinks that we will not play one-on-one defense because we are shorter and smaller. (But) applying a full-court press is our strength. We may not be gifted with height and size but we are skillful and we are quicker. Yes that was a gamble, and we have a huge payout with that,” Mandaue City coach Gary Cortes told sports scribes after the game.
Cortes referred to the man-zone and full court trapping defense he employed in the second half, which came as surprise to Talisay City, which enjoyed a size and height advantage over the home team and was enjoying a 14-point lead at the start of the third period.
It turned out that Talisay got the biggest surprise because they were not prepared to counter the high octane game of Mandaue City.
The Aquastars watched its 14-point lead vanished in just two minutes and 31 seconds as the Ballers dropped a telling 13-0 run at the start of the third period to come within 45-46, at the 7:29 mark.
Clark Louis Ruedas broke the silence of the Aquastars with a basket at the 7:10 mark, but that did not douse the fire from Mandaue City. The Ballers dropped another 12-0 run to retake the lead they last held at 26-22 in the second quarter.
Gab Cometa who just had four points in the first half, exploded with 11 points to help Mandaue drop a telling 40-15 blast in the third period that completely turned the table around in favor for the home team.
“Sa first half, medyo tentative pa mi. Ang concentration sa amoang play kay on Brillo down low. But then nagka problema mi adto kay tentative na kaayo mi. Resulta na apsan mi unya naggukod pa gyud mi of 14 points. So pag second half ako giingnan si coach nga mo-atake ko coach. Kon di madala ako lang i-drop or i-kick out. Luckily ni work amoang game plan,” said the soft spoken Cometa.
Aside from the game high 23 points, Cometa also had 16 assists, two rebounds, and three steals to lead all producers.
Kenneth Brillo who was suspended in Game 1, came back with a vengeance as he added 15 points and nine rebounds and six steals making it hard for Mandaue City to be pushed around especially in the shaded lane.
Archie Buscay added 14 points and Dwight Dabon and Paul John Sungahid added 13 points each and Lemuel Jake Gonzaga finished with 10 points each for Mandaue City while Keaton Clyde Taburnal scored 22 points for the Rey Gurrea-mentored Talisay City Aquastars. Kendrick Abarquez who was slowed down by foul troubles added 11 points and Ruedas had 10 points for the defending champions.
Game 3 is scheduled this Saturday, May 11, at 3PM at the University of San Carlos gym in Sanciangko St.
“Our main goal is to defend. And be ready for whatever adjustments they (Talisay City) will be throwing at our way comes game time,” Cortes added.
Earlier, ASB Balamban Shipbuilders bagged the P200,000 cash prize for finishing third place after beating the inaugural champions Minglanilla Archangels, 77-71.
Jacob Fernandez played a brilliant game all night long as he led all scorers after scoring 22 on top of eight boards, six dimes, and two steals. Marvin Cortez had a double-double game finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Albert John Sacayan finished with 13 points for Balamban while Mark Justine Nebril top-scored for Minglanila with 16 points and Lyle Eredera added 11 as the Archangels settled for the P100,000 consolation prize.
For 3rd place
Balamban (77) – Fernandez 22, Cortez 15, Sacayan 13, Gellacone 9, Sermon 6, Codinera 6, Timosa 4, Tapdasan 2. Minglanilla (71) – Nebril16, Eredera 11, Alforquez 8, Gilbuena 8, Mahilom 7, Dobleros 6, Mejos 6, Castro 4, Cabrera 3, Basister 2.
Quarterscores: 27-14; 40-33; 56-55; 77-71.
Finals Game 2
Mandaue City (94) – Cometa 23, Brillo 15, Buscay 14, Dabon 13, Sungahid 13, Gonzaga 10, Marco 6. Talisay City (76) – Taburnal 22, Abarquez 11, Ruedas 10, Briones 9, Deiparine 9, Castro 6, Bacasmas 5, Villabrille 2, Sullano 2.
Quarterscores: 20-18; 32-46; 72-61; 94-76.