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A stacked Talisay lineup could pose a tough challenge for the rest of the teams in the inaugural staging of the VisMin Super Cup, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Paulo Hubalde, a veteran in the game of basketball with stints in the Philippine Basketball Association, the Asean Basketball League, and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), will headline the team to be known as the Aquastars.

Fellow professional basketball veteran Patrick Cabahug will also bolster Talisay in the upcoming Super Cup.

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During its press launch on Feb. 5, the team unveiled its roster that includes Jaymar Gimpayan, Kevin Villafranca, Mel Mabigat, Zyron Cudal, Allan Santos, Jhaymo Eguilos, Tristan Albina, and Talisay natives Darrell Menina, Lugie Cuyos, and Joshua Dela Cerna.

When Hubalde and some team officials graced the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, Team Manager Jhon Santos bared Lester Alvarez, Jan Jamon, and Dave Moralde as their new acquisitions.

"It's a well balanced team in terms of positions and even the experience. It's a mix of rookies and professionals like Paulo, Cabahug, and Val Acuna. Maganda yung blend ng team (The team's blend is good), especially the local players. They are very strong. Nagulat ako sa performance ng mga (I am surprised with the performance of the) local players," said Mike Aldover, the senior manager for sales marketing and operations for Puma, the Aquastars' kit sponsor.

With most of the players already suited up in the MPBL and have even become teammates at some point in their careers like the Valenzuela alliance of Hubalde, Gimpayan, Villafranca, Mabigat, Cabahug, and Acuna, who was teammates with Alvarez and Eguilos when he was still with Batangas City, Hubalde believes team chemistry will be Talisay's main weapon come the Super Cup.

"Chemistry is a big factor. Dapat buo ang team kasi marami kayong problemang tatahakin. Kaya ba ng team mo yung problemang tatahakin? Yun yung big factor (The team should be complete because you will face a lot of problems. Can your team handle the problem you will face? That is the big factor)," Hubalde said.

He added, "Na-bond na kami ng panahon kasi buo na kami since last year, so 'di man kami nagkakaroon ng training, pag may gathering kahit online, we're really talking to each other. So yung chemistry namin, nandoon na. Kumbaga, it's not a team. It's a family na (We have already bonded through time because we are already complete since last year, so even if we are not holding training at the moment, if there is a gathering even if online, we're really talking to each other. So our chemistry is already there, that is, it's not a team. It's already a family)."

The VisMin Super Cup is set to open shop on April 9 with a Visayas Conference bubble in Alcantara, Cebu, where Talisay will participate in.

The Aquastars are tagged as favorites to win the Visayas leg.


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