CIGNAL-Ateneo stamped its class over Valencia City Bukidnon-SSCR, 100-73, to sweep the semifinals and advance to the championship of the 2019 PBA D-League Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Thirdy Ravena led the uprising with his 19 points, 14 in the first half, as the Blue Eagles fought their way back from a 12-point second quarter deficit, 26-14. He also had five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block.
Cignal-Ateneo imposed its dominance in the third quarter, using a 20-2 blast that stretched a 50-45 lead to a 70-47 advantage.
Isaac Go made it a 29-point lead for Blue Eagles with a booming trey for an 81-52 advantage. Go wound up with 13 points and six boards.
Ivorian center Ange Kouame also registered a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds as Cignal-Ateneo progressed to its first PBA D-League Finals appearance.
"Everything that we're doing is in preparation for the UAAP. It's a big help for us entering the Finals, but we can't be happy with just that," said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
The Blue Eagles will face the winner of the other semifinals between Centro Escolar University and St. Clare College Virtual Reality in a best-of-five titular showdown.
RK Ilagan finished with his 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Alvin Capobres scored 14 points for Valencia-SSCR.
Allyn Bulanadi suffered a dislocated right shoulder at the 8:05 mark of the first quarter, leaving the Golden Harvest without one of their top performers in the must-win tiff.
CIGNAL-ATENEO 100 -- Ravena 19, Go 13, Kouame 12, Andrade 11, Ma. Nieto 9, Mendoza 8, Belangel 8, Mi. Nieto 7, Daves 6, Wong 4, Tio 3, Navarro 0, Credo 0.
VALENCIA-SSCR 73 -- Ilagan 22, Capobres 14, Calma 13, Bonleon 8, Are 6,
Villapando 3, Tero 3, Sumoda 2, Altamirano 2, Dela Cruz 0, Desoyo 0, Calahat 0, Bulanadi 0, Loristo 0.
Quarters: 19-28, 50-45, 78-52, 100-73.