Cignal HD wins back-to-back D-League titles
Cignal HD repulsed Centro Escolar University, 79-69, in Game 2 to complete a sweep in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Hawkeyes established control in the second quarter and took the 45-30 halftime lead, extending the advantage to 19, 69-50, after a Jonathan Uyloan trey with 7:20 to play.
Aaron Jeruta and Art Aquino tried to keep the Scorpions in the game, cutting the deficit to as low as eight, 75-67, after a JK Casiño layup in the last 29 seconds, but the comeback was just too late.
Harold Arboleda iced the game from the charity stripe to secure Cignal’s second straight championship.
Oping Sumalinog paced the balanced attack for the Hawkeyes with 13 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Arboleda also contributed 13 markers, eight boards, and four dimes.
Uyloan also went 3-of-8 from beyond the arc to wound up with 11 points, while Jason Perkins did all the dirty work with eight markers, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Cignal replicated its 78-56 Game 1 win last Tuesday despite missing the services of Conference MVP Raymar Jose, who is with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Nobody expected us to win a championship. Our lineup has been a consistent revolving door, some guys come in and they have to adjust to our system right away, but again, it’s really the effort of the players who want to win the championship. I will not be able to do this if not for the players so credit to them,” said coach Boyet Fernandez, who established his legend as the winningest mentor in PBA D-League history with eight titles under his belt.
The Hawkeyes became only the third franchise to win back-to-back titles in a season, after the NLEX Road Warriors and Phoenix Accelerators.
Congolese big man Rod Ebondo reigned for CEU with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Orlan Wamar had 11 markers, four boards, and three assists.
CIGNAL HD 79 – Sumalinog 13, Arboleda 13, Uyloan 11, Perkins 8, Apinan 7, Bringas 6, Raymundo 6, Villarias 5, Sara 4, Batino 4, Cahilig 2.
CEU 69 – Ebondo 20, Wamar 11, Guinitaran 9, Casiño 8, Aquino 7, Jeruta 7, Manlangit 4, Baconcon 3, Arim 0, Cruz 0, Intic 0, Saber 0, Uri 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 45-30, 60-48, 79-69.