CIGNAL-Ateneo overcame a sluggish first half to beat Chadao-FEU, 67-60, to punch the first semi-final ticket in the 2019 PBA D-League Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Chadao-FEU played catch-up ball from there and managed to knock by a point with 4:32 left, but Mendoza led a 7-0 run that gave Cignal-Ateneo a 64-56 lead which was enough to seal the win.
The Blue Eagles wiped out an 11-point second quarter deficit by coming out alive the in the third before Jolo Mendoza, Thirdy Ravena, and Ange Kouame applied the finishing touches.
"Our mentality was to take it possesion by possesion," said Cignal-Ateneo lead assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga of their fightback.
The Ivorian Kouame paced the Blue Eagles with 14 points and 14 rebounds with two steals and a game-high three blocks while Ravena supplied 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
Kouame and Ravena were also in the forefront of Cignal-Ateneo's 21-7 blitz bridging the second and third quarters as the Blue Eagle rallied from an 11-point deficit and took a 39-38 lead.
Cignal-Ateneo will facr winner between Che'Lu Bar and Grill and Valencia City-San Sebastian in the semis.
Cade Flores led Chafao-FEU with 14 points and seven rebounds. Joseph Nunag was the only other Tamaraw who finished in double figures with 10 markers, alongside three rebounds.
CIGNAL-ATENEO 67 -- Kouame 14, Ravena 10, Go 8, Ma. Nieto 6, Navarro 5, Andrade 5, Mendoza 5, Tio 4, Belangel 4, Mamuyac 2, Mi. Nieto 2, Daves 2.
CHADAO-FEU 60 -- Flores 14, Nunag 10, Comboy 9, Bienes 8, Stockton 7, Tuffin 6, Tchuente 4, Mantua 0, Gonzales 0, Cani 0, Casino 0.
Quarters: 11-17, 32-36, 48-46, 67-60.