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Cignal clinches last outright semis seat with win over gritty CEU

By Dugout Philippines

PASIG--Cignal HD booked the last outright semifinals seat in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, eking out a 96-89 triumph over Centro Escolar University Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena.

Behind Jason Perkins’ 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, the Hawkeyes claimed their sixth straight victory and rose up to 8-2, good for the second seed in the standings.

The hardworking forward triggered Cignal’s decisive 10-0 charge late in the third quarter, turning a 60-59 deficit to a 69-60 advantage before fending off the Scorpions’ numerous rallies in the fourth frame.

“I guess we were fortunate because we had a very long preparation. We had a lot of time scouting them, but it was still a struggle against them. But the boys delivered and we got the win,” said deputy Jude Roque, who was filling in for head coach Boyet Fernandez, who is with San Beda in the NCAA. “Coach Boyet was still on top of everything and I just carried on whatever game plan he had for the team. I have to give credit to coach Boyet because it was him who prepared the players.”

Byron Villarias paced the Hawkeyes with 19 markers on a 5-of-10 clip from threes, to go with five boards and two assists, while Oping Sumalinog got 13 points.

Rod Ebondo unfurled 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for CEU (5-4), while Aaron Jeruta also had 23 markers, six assists, and four boards.

The Scorpions will now be fighting for their survival on Tuesday when they take on Racal Motors.

Box Scores:

Cignal 96-Villarias 19, Perkins 18, Sumalinog 13, Raymundo 11, Jose 10, Bringas 8, Arong 5, Cahilig 5, Sara 3, Batino 2, Arboleda 2, Belencion 0

CEU 89-Ebondo 23, Jeruta 23, CasiƱo 15, Guinitaran 8, Cruz 7, Wamar 7, Uri 2, Manlangit 2, Arim 2, Aquino 0, Fuentes 0, Intic 0

Quarterscores: 21-28, 48-44, 71-65, 96-89

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