The Cignal-Ateneo Blue Eagles announced their entry to the 2019 PBA D-League with a rousing 103-75 victory over the Go for Gold-College of Saint Benilde Scratchers, Thursday afternoon at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Isaac Go got the ball rolling for the Blue Eagles. He led his team on a 24-3 tear in the second quarter that turned a slim 20-16 lead to a commanding 44-17 advantage, capped by an Ange Kouame layup.
The versatile forward topscored for the early favorites with 21 points on a sizzling 4-of-6 shooting from threes, to go with his four rebounds. Cignal-Ateneo have now gained an early headstart in the Aspirants Group.
Adrian Wong also had his way from downtown, drilling five long bombs to notch 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Meanwhile, Matt Nieto contributed 14 points, seven assists, and three rebounds in the win.
It was a sweet-shooting outing for the Blue Eagles. They had 55-percent field goal shooting and 45-percent clip from threes, much to the delight of coach Tab Baldwin.
“This isn’t how we play in the UAAP. We’ll press a lot more, we’ll do a lot of other things that we really can’t do when our numbers are down. So offensively, I was surprised, we played pretty well,” he said.
“We’re not doing a lot really, but the guys played very efficiently and that’s a good thing,” the decorated mentor added.
Ivorian slotman Kouame did his damage inside on his way to 13 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals, including a big rim-rattler to finish the game in the final 81 seconds.
Justin Gutang led Foundation Cup champion Go for Gold-CSB with 21 points and three rebounds in the losing effort.
Yankie Haruna provided support with his 11 points and three boards for the Scratchers.
Cignal-Ateneo 103 –– Go 21, Wong 17, Ma. Nieto 14, Kouame 13, Mi. Nieto 9, Navarro 9, Belangel 9, Daves 6, Credo 5.
Go for Gold-CSB 75 — Gutang 21, Haruna 11, Belgica 9, Pasturan 8, Naboa 7, Young 6, Dixon 6, Carlos 5, Leutcheu 2, Nayve 0.
Quarterscores: 20-14, 49-26, 80-55, 103-75.