CIGNAL-Ateneo delivered a masterful second half to pull off a 67-52 victory over Centro Escolar University in Game 3 of the 2019 PBA D-League titular series Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Ange Kouame spearheaded the Blue Eagles' defensive stand with nine blocks that went with his 10 points and seven rebounds as Cignal-Ateneo move on the threshold of clinching the best-of-five series.
Thirdy Ravena registered 12 points and eight rebounds to topscore for Cignal-Ateneo while Mike Nieto and Adrian Wong added nine points apiece as the Blue Eagles bounce back strong from Tuesday's stunner that allowed CEU to tie the series at 1-all.
"We went a little bit away from our defensive system last game and we wanted to get that in today's game," said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Cignal-Ateneo's defense was on point in the game, holding CEU to just 26-percent clip from the field.
The game was halted for 25 minutes due to leaks from roof of the gymnasium caused by the heavy downpour. Game was stopped at the 8:18 mark of the fourth quarter.
When game resumed, the Blue Eagles staged a 16-2 tear to extend their lead to 65-39.
Cignal-Ateneo can close out the best-of-five series on Tuesday.
It was a double victory for Gignal-Ateneo as Isaac Go was named Conference MVP before Game 3.
Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf anchored CEU with 19 points and 20 rebounds in the defeat.
CIGNAL-ATENEO 67 -- Ravena 12, Kouame 10, Mi. Nieto 9, Ma. Nieto 8, Andrade 5, Go 5, Daves 5, Navarro 4, Belangel 0, Tio 0, Credo 0, Mamuyac 0.
CEU 52 -- Diouf 19, Bernabe 9, Guinitaran 8, Sunga 7, Santos 5, Diaz 4, Abastillas 0.
Quarters: 17-13, 32-27, 49-37, 67-52.