The Cignal HD Hawkeyes ran away with the game early and halted the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers’ expedition with an 86-67 thumping to take a 1-0 lead in the other best-of-three semifinals series, Thursday evening at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
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,” said coach Boyet Fernandez, as he braces for the departure of his bruising forward 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,” said Fernandez.
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 and push 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.
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.
Quarterscores: 34-14, 48-29, 65-45, 86-67.