by Jonas Terrado
Cignal-Ateneo got its old swagger back and walloped Centro Escolar University, 67-52, to move a win away from capturing the PBA D-League crown at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Humbled by Tuesday’s 77-74 loss to the undermanned Scorpions, the Blue Eagles played with a business-like approach as evident with their second half performance that saw them turn the contest into a blowout after a 36-33 lead early in the third.
Thirdy Ravena bucked a 4-of-17 shooting to finish with 17 points while Ange Kouame added 10 points, seven rebounds and nine blocks for Cignal-Ateneo, which will go for the clincher on Tuesday at the same venue.
“The reminder of (Cignal-Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin) is that we have to be mentally present each game,” said assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, noting how the Blue Eagles lacked the fire that allowed CEU to score an upset victory the last time.
Isaac Go, earlier named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, returned from missing Game 2 with an illness with five points and five rebounds. Go beat out Ravena and the City of Valencia-San Sebastian duo of RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi for the coveted award.