TOP seeds Cignal-Ateneo and Valencia City Bukidnon-SSCR kickstart their best-of-three semifinal series in the 2019 PBA D-League on Monday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The Blue Eagles are entering the Final Four with a seven-game winning streak.
"Again, we're using this as our preparations (for the UAAP), but we're happy to see that our players are running our system to a tee," said Cignal-Ateneo deputy coach Sandy Arespacochaga after the Blue Eagles' 67-60 win over Chadao-FEU last Monday in the quarterfinals.
Ivorian big man Ange Kouame is expected to pose a big problem for the Golden Harvest. The Blue Eagles are also counting on Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go to make their presence felt in the 4 p.m. game.
The Golden Harvest are just as motivated not to mention they are entering the semis with a six-game winning run to their belt.
RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi have been the torch bearers for Valencia-SSCR, but in the past few games, guys like JM Calma, Alex Desoyo, and Emmanuel Bonleon have also stepped up to the plate.
Still, coach Egay Macaraya remains wary knowing the pedigree of the opposition.
"We're happy that we made it to the semifinals. But alam naman natin ang Ateneo, they're one of the best teams in college. We'll just try to be ready sa kanila," he said.