by Jonas Terrado
Game Tomorrow (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
4 p.m. – Cignal-Ateneo vs CEU
(Series tied 1-1)
Centro Escolar University defied the odds anew after an embarrassing setback the last time to stun Cignal-Ateneo, 77-74, and tie at 1-1 the PBA D-League Finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Scorpions leaned on Jerome Santos, Maodo Malick Diouf and Rich Guinitaran to pull off the stunning upset over the Blue Eagles after being clobbered, 101-66, in last week’s series opener at The Arena in San Juan.
Santos fired 28 points, Diouf had 23 points and 16 rebounds while Guinitaran added 13 points as CEU snapped Cignal-Ateneo’s 10-game winning streak dating back to the eliminations.
“We were able to redeem ourselves,” said CEU coach Derrick Pumaren. “The only thing I told my boys was to make sure they believe in themselves that they can be in the same league as Ateneo.
“I wanna see the fight and the competitiveness and it showed today,” added Pumaren, whose underdog squad will try to score another stunning win in Game 3 on Thursday at the same venue.
CEU almost blew the game away after leading 65-55 on Franz Diaz’s basket with 5:12 remaining in the fourth.
With coach Tab Baldwin implementing a pressure defense, the Blue Eagles were able to tie the game twice courtesy of two three-pointers by SJ Belangel.