Cignal rips CEU, takes 1-0 lead
There was little to worry, after all, as Cignal HD bucked the absence of a key cog and dismantled Centro Escolar University, 78-56, to move within a win of a championship in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena.
“We know that the challenge of stepping up is there, and I commend all my players today, especially Jason (Perkins),” said coach Boyet Fernandez, who was concerned over Raymar Jose’s absence as the big man left for Kuala Lumpur to suit up for the national team in the Southeast Asian Games.
Perkins caught fire right in the first period to help the Hawkeyes erect an early 24-6 lead in Game 1 of the best-of-three title series.
Perkins dropped half of his 16 points in the opening frame and also finished with 11 rebounds as the former La Salle standout’s hot start set the tone of the lopsided match.
“Jason knows that he’s a very important part of this team,” said Fernandez. “It shows that he’s always been stepping up for us.”
The Hawkeyes will try to wrap up their bid for back-to-back crowns in Game 2 on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Ynares Sports Arena.
Also sizzling for the Hawkeyes were Byron Villarias, who shot 6-of-8 from the field for a team-high 17 points, and Mark Bringas, who posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Everything went the Hawkeyes’ way that even when the Scorpions cut the deficit to 12, 37-25, in the second quarter, they quickly stifled the rally and cruised the rest of the way.