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Cignal trumps Blu for share of second; Victoria-MLQU stuns JRU

By Dugout Philippines

PASIG--Cignal-San Beda bucked its poor start and cruised to a 109-79 victory over Blu Star Detergent to rack its fourth straight win Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Robert Bolick anchored the Hawkeyes as he dropped all of his 15 points in the middle quarters to help his team pull away for good.

He also had four rebounds and three assists as Cignal improved to 4-1 and grabbed a share of second place alongside Cafe France.

Byron Villarias also added 15 markers on a 3-of-6 shooting from threes, while Davon Potts had 13 points.

"We tried to give everybody a chance to start. We played well in the first quarter, but the problem was we're not making our shots," said coach Boyet Fernandez. "Credit to the boys who played in the end of the second quarter and really played defense. They really wanted to play and that's where the lead extended to 14."

Cignal went to work in the middle periods, firing a 28-point second quarter to establish a 47-33 halftime advantage before pulling away in the third frame, 77-56.

The lead extended to as high as 34, 104-69, thanks to a Radge Tongco floater with 2:21 remaining.

Tristan Perez topped winless Blu (0-4) with 29 points and three rebounds, while Jason Melano unloaded 15 markers and five boards.

In the first game, Victoria Sports-MLQU nailed its breakthrough win, shocking Jose Rizal University, 76-66.

Robbie Herndon took charge for his side, pouring eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including the back-to-back fadeaway jumpers in the final minute to seal the deal late. He also grabbed four rebounds.

Aris Dionisio corralled a double-double with his 20 markers, 13 boards, and four blocks, while Chris Bitoon poured 12 points, four assists, and two rebounds.

"I just told my guys to work hard every game because every game, we're getting better. We shouldn't mind our losses. The important thing is our improvement," said coach Jino Manansala.

Victoria Sports improved to a 1-4 slate while sending JRU to its third straight defeat and fall to a 2-3 card.

Behind Herndon, Victoria Sports gained control early and even took a 12-point edge, 50-38 thanks to a pair of Bitoon freebies with 4:42 left in the third frame.

Jhaps Bautista led the Heavy Bombers fightback in the payoff period, commandeering an 11-0 tear to give JRU a 60-58 lead. But Dionisio snatched the lead back to Victoria, dropping six straight points, to give his team a 68-62 lead with 3:17 remaining.

Bautista topped JRU with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Tey Teodoro had 16.

The Scores:

First Game:
Victoria-MLQU 76-Herndon 22, Dionisio 20, Bitoon 12, Lao 5, Sorela 5, Koga 4, Grimaldo 3, Mag-isa 3, Nicholls 2, Butron 0, Ragasa 0

JRU 66-Bautista 20, Teodoro 16, Pontejos 10, Poutouochi 8, Dela Virgen 6, Ambulodto 2, Grospe 2, Lasquety 2, Escosio 0, Estrella 0, Sawat 0

Quarterscores: 17-17, 40-36, 58-49, 76-66

Second Game:
Cignal-San Beda 109-Bolick 15, Villarias 15, Potts 13, Adamos 10, Bringas 9, Mocon 9, Tongco 8, Perkins 7, Arong 6, Bahio 6, Raymundo 4, Arboleda 3, Batino 2, Oftana 2

Blu 79-Perez 29, Melano 15, Kwaan 9, Ang 7, Liaw 6, Mak 6, Heng 3, Choong 2, Ong 2, Chin 0

Quarterscores: 19-18, 47-33, 77-56, 109-79

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