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Perkins lifts Cignal-San Beda to Game 1 win over Racal


Jason Perkins showcased his MVP form

With Perkins leading the way, the Cignal-San Beda HD Hawkeyes drew first blood in the best-of-three Finals series in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup after fending off the Racal Tile Masters, 93-85, Thursday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The 24-year-old, who was the first pick in last year’s D-League draft, dropped a game-high 28 markers on 10-of-17 shooting. He knocked down three triples in the game and swiped eight rebounds.

“We did a good job with the way we started strong. But a team like Racal is capable of coming back from big deficits,” said coach Boyet Fernandez. “Today, it’s really the boys who stepped up and stopped the bleeding for us late in the game.”

Perkins and Pamboy Raymundo teamed up for 36 points in the first half as Cignal’s scathing 52-percent shooting gave them a 55-36 halftime lead. They further extended it to 21, 57-36, in the third period.

Rey Nambatac, however, led the fourth quarter charge for the Tile Masters, as his trey with 2:22 to play cut the deficit to just five, 86-81, before the Hawkeyes buckled down in the clutch and secured the thrilling win.

Raymundo added 21 points, including three triples, while Robert Bolick broke out of his slump, finishing the game with 19 markers to go along with five rebounds and six assists.

Cignal-San Beda shot 47 percent from the field compared to 37 percent for Racal. The hot-shooting of the HD Hawkeyes, a team that knocked down 11 triples in the game, negated the 53-35 rebounding advantage of the Tile Masters.

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With Kent Salado limited to just seven markers, fellow Cagayan de Oro native Nambatac paced Racal with 23 points, six rebounds, and three assits. Jackson Corpuz chipped in 15 points, while Sydney Onwubere notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Game 2 is set to take place on Monday, April 3, at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

“We’re happy to get this one, but we only won one game,” said Fernandez, as he seeks to claim his seventh PBA D-League title with a sweep next week. “We have to beat Racal again and there’s no enjoyment here. We have to rest and get ready for Game 2.”

The Scores:

Cignal-San Beda (93) – Perkins 28, Raymundo 21, Bolick 19, Adamos 7, Arboleda 7, Oftana 6, Potts 5, Mocon 0, Batino 0, Tongco 0, Villarias 0, Bringas 0.

Racal (85) – Nambatac 23, Corpuz 15, Onwubere 14, Gabayni 8, Salado 7, Torres 6, Mangahas 5, Dagangon 4, Capacio 2, Cabrera 1, Terso 0, Flores 0, Gabawan 0, Gumaru 0.

Quarterscores: 26-14, 55-36, 74-59, 93-85.

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