MANILA – Cignal-Ateneo Blue Eagles leaned on a strong second half surge to beat Centro Escolar University Scorpions, 67-52, in Game 3 of the 2019 PBA D-League Finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Ilonggo Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena led the way with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Ivorian import Angelo Kouame added 10 points, nine blocks and seven rebounds for the Blue Eagles.
Geoge Isaac Go, who had five points in the match, was earlier honored with the Conference MVP award after nabbing 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his 13 games in action.
Holding to a slim 32-27 halftime edge, the Blue Eagles went to work in the third canto behind inside conversions from Ravena, Kouame, Mike Nieto and Matt Nieto for a 49-37 edge.
Baskets from Adrian Wong early in the fourth period pushed the Blue Eagles to its biggest lead at 65-39 which they did not relinquish even if the match was halted for almost half an hour due to rain leak in the venue.
“We went a little bit away from our defensive system last game and we wanted to get that in today’s game,” said Blue Eagles assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
The victory pushed the reigning UAAP men’s basketball champions to a 2-1 edge in the best-of-five championship series and can clinch the PBA D-League crown in Game 4 on Tuesday.
Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf anchored the offense with double-double 19 points and 20 rebounds for the Scorpions./PN