CIGNAL-Ateneo downed City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R to barge into the Finals, while St. Clare-Virtual Reality sent seven-man Centro Escolar University crashing back to earth to force a playoff in the PBA D-League yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Blue Eagles needed a huge third quarter to eliminate the Golden Harvest, 100-73, while the Saints overpowered the Scorpions, 84-50, to level their series to one game apiece.
St. Clare and CEU dispute the remaining championship berth at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the same Pasig venue.
City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R suffered a huge blow in the early goings as Allyn Bulanadi dislocated his right shoulder at the 8:05 mark of the opening period.
But the close first half was a wake-up call for Cignal-Ateneo, which trailed by 14-26 in the second period before taking a 50-45 lead at the break.
“Coach (Tab Baldwin) told us to step up and we must do our jobs,” said skipper Thirdy Ravena, who finished with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. ”Basketball is a game of runs. We are prepared on what will happen.”
The Eagles outscored the Golden Harvest, 28-7, in the pivotal third period and never looked back to complete a 2-0 semifinals sweep.
Isaac Go came through with 13 points and six boards, while Ivorian center Ange Kouame had another double-double outing of 12 points and 18 rebounds for Cignal-Ateneo.
“Everything that we’re doing is in preparation for the UAAP. It’s a big help for us entering the Finals, but we can’t be happy with just that,” said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
RK Ilagan was the knight in shining armor for City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Alvin Capobres contributed 14 markers.
The Saints, who lost 75-76 in last Monday’s opener, ran out the gates early, blowing the Scorpions out of the court with 36-19 advantage at the break to put the game beyond recall.
Cignal-Ateneo (100) — Ravena 19, Go 13, Kouame 12, Andrade 11, Ma. Nieto 9, Mendoza 8, Belangel 8, Mi. Nieto 7, Daves 6, Wong 4, Tio 3, Navarro 0, Credo 0.
City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R (73) — Ilagan 22, Capobres 14, Calma 13, Bonleon 8, Are 6, Villapando 3, Tero 3, Sumoda 2, Altamirano 2, Dela Cruz 0, Desoyo 0, Calahat 0, Bulanadi 0, Loristo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-28, 50-45, 78-52, 100-73
St. Clare (84) — Pare 17, Lunor 14, Hallare 11, Fontanilla 11, Penaredondo 11, Rubio 7, Palencia 5, Santos 2, Rivera 2, Manacho 2, Tiquia 2, Ambulodto 0, Fuentes 0, Decano 0.
CEU (50) — Diaz 19, Sunga 14, Diouf 7, Santos 5, Guinitaran 5, Bernabe 0, Abastillas 0, Intic 0.
Quarterscores: 14-7, 36-19, 60-30, 84-50