Cignal-Ateneo stamped its class all over Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian, 100-73, to sweep the semifinals and advance to the championship of the 2019 PBA D-League Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Thirdy Ravena led the uprising with his 19 points, 14 coming in the first half, to go with five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block as the Blue Eagles fought their way back from a 12-point second quarter deficit, 26-14.
Cignal-Ateneo imposed its dominance in the third frame, using a 20-2 stretch that turned a tight 50-45 lead to a 70-47 advantage.
Isaac Go would put the Blue Eagles up 29, with a booming trey that made it an 81-52 affair in the payoff period as he wound up with 13 points and six boards.
Ivorian center Ange Kouame also registered a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds as Cignal-Ateneo progressed to its first PBA D-League Finals appearance.
“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.
The Blue Eagles now await their date for the best-of-five titular showdown between Centro Escolar University and St. Clare College Virtual Reality, which are playing as of press time.
RK Ilagan was the knight in shining armor for Valencia-SSCR with his 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Alvin Capobres got 14 in the losing cause.
Allyn Bulanadi suffered a dislocated right shoulder at the 8:05 mark of the first quarter, leaving the Golden Harvest without one of their top performers in the must-win tiff.
Cignal-ADMU 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.
Valencia-SSCR 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.