Cignal-Ateneo progressed to the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs after a 44-point evisceration of Batangas-EAC, 90-46, Thursday afternoon at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Matt Nieto was at the forefront of the beatdown, unloading 10 of his 16 points in the first half to slowly pull away from a tight 16-9 affair. He also had two rebounds and two assists for the Blue Eagles.
Tyler Tio poured 19 points as he shot 4-of-9 from downtown to lead Cignal-Ateneo to its fifth straight victory to rise to 7-1.
William Navarro recorded a double-double with his 13 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, Mike Nieto had himself 10 points and three boards, as Isaac Go finished with 11 and six as well as giving the Blue Eagles their biggest advantage at 48, 88-40, with a pair of free throws in the last 2:12.
“It was a physical game and I think that’s certainly their formula with dealing with our big guys. But I told the players to play through that and play good basketball, and that’s what we focused on,” said coach Tab Baldwin.
Batangas-EAC bowed out of the playoff race as it fell to 2-6.
JP Maguliano was the lone player to notch double-digits in scoring with his 12 points and six rebounds in the defeat.
Cignal-Ateneo 90 –– Tio 19, Ma. Nieto 16, Navarro 13, Go 11, Mi. Nieto 10, Kouame 8, Wong 4, Berjay 3, Belangel 3, Andrade 2, Mamuyac 1, Daves 0.
Batangas-EAC 46 — Maguliano 12, E. Mendoza 9, Tampoc 6, Cadua 5, Taywan 4, Carlos 3, Corilla 2, Oppong 2, De Guzman 2, Dela Pena 1, Gonzales 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Boffa 0, Fuentes 0.
Quarterscores: 16-9, 40-19, 65-31, 90-46.