Flying V, Cignal score contrasting Game 1 wins in D-League semis

Flying V, Cignal score contrasting Game 1 wins in semis
ON THE BOARD.

Flying V squandered a nine-point edge but got the job done on the defensive end to eke out the tight 65-61 Game 1 win over Centro Escolar University on Thursday to gain a headstart in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals in Pasig's Ynares Arena.

With the Thunder precariously holding on to a 63-61 advantage with 21.0 ticks left, Gab Banal got on Rod Ebondo’s way and drew a charging foul to halt the Scorpions’ rampage, giving his crew a huge sigh of relief as Jerick Cañada sealed the game with two freebies in the last 3.6 seconds.

“I think pagdating sa mga ganoong situations, you really have to assert yourself defensively. And I think this game really boiled down to the stops. We were able to make the crucial stops, lalo na yung kay Gab on Ebondo,” head coach Eric Altamirano said.

Flying V got one of its feet onto the championship series, with another victory on Tuesday propelling it to the Finals in only its maiden conference in the league.

Jeron Teng missed out on another triple-double, racking 17 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists in the win.

Banal shot 3-of-6 from beyond the arc to wind up with 12 markers, five boards, and two steals while Eric Salamat also had 12 points, three rebounds, and three dimes in the conquest.

Thomas Torres almost gave the win away to the Scorpions after he was whistled with a flagrant foul penalty one, but Orlan Wamar botched both of his freebies which could have tied the game in the final 21.0 seconds.

Rod Ebondo led the way for CEU with 20 points and 27 rebounds, two boards away from tying the PBA D-League record of 29 set by Jay-R Taganas in the 2015 Foundation Cup.

Art Aquino also chipped in 17 markers and four rebounds in the loss.

In the second game, Cignal HD ran away with the game early and halted Marinerong Pilipino’s expedition with an 86-67 thumping to take a 1-0 lead in the other best-of-three semifinals series.

Raymar Jose made his potential final game count for the Hawkeyes as he dropped 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

“Thank you ako kay Raymar. I had to play him for the whole of the third quarter and he did his job for us,” head coach Boyet Fernandez said, as he braces for the departure of his bruising forward who will suit up for the Gilas Pilipinas crew in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Jason Perkins also made his mark in the game, doing it all with his 13 markers, 18 boards, three assists, one steal, and one block.

Byron Villarias shot 13 points, four rebounds, and three dimes while Oping Sumalinog fired 12 markers and four boards to help Cignal set the tone and take a 34-14 lead after the first 12 minutes.

“I’m really happy that the starters stepped up on defense. We’re pressured enough to play at our best today given the fact that we haven’t played for a long while. But credit to my boys again. They really played their hearts out today,” Fernandez said.

Coming off a three-week layoff, the Hawkeyes took the ball and ran with it as they silenced the raging Skippers and even took a 24-point lead, 62-38, late in the third period.

Marinerong Pilipino tried to roar back and slice the lead down to 12, 75-63, with 3:24 to play, but the trio of Jose, Sumalinog, and Villarias snuffed that rally to sink the Skippers late, pushing the Hawkeyes closer to a return trip to the Finals.

Pao Javelona topped the Skippers with 11 points in the defeat, which spelled the end of their seven-game winning streak.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

FLYING V 65 - Teng 17, Banal 12, Salamat 12, Torres 6, Austria 5, Dionisio 4, Thiele 3, Cañada 2, Paredes 2, Tampus 2, Koga 0.

CEU 61 - Ebondo 20, Aquino 17, Wamar 9, Cruz 8, Jeruta 6, Casiño 1, Fuentes 0, Guinitaran 0, Intic 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 14-13, 31-32, 54-46, 65-61.

SECOND GAME

CIGNAL HD 86 - Jose 17, Perkins 13, Villarias 13, Sumalinog 12, Arboleda 6, Bringas 6, Cahilig 6, Raymundo 5, Batino 4, Sara 4, Apinan 0, Uyloan 0.

MARINERONG PILIPINO 67 - Javelona 11, Sargent 8, Subido 8, Moralde 7, Herndon 6, Lopez 6, Iñigo 5, Marata 5, Alabanza 3, Isip 3, Javillonar 3, Gabriel 2.

QUARTER SCORES: 34-14, 48-29, 65-45, 86-67.

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