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Blue Eagles shoot for D-League crown

June 25, 2019

Cignal-Ateneo de Manila University guns for a maiden title when it tries to finish off Centro Escolar University (CEU) in Game Four of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBA D-League) finals today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

A win by the Blue Eagles against the undermanned Scorpions at 4 p.m. will give them a historic first championship in the developmental ranks.

Cignal-Ateneo posted a crucial 67-52 victory in Game Three of the best-of-five showdown on Thursday, bouncing back from a stunning 74-77 loss in Game Two last week.

Cignal-Ateneo’s center Angelo Kouame goes for a hook shot against Rich Guinitaran of CEU during Game 3 of the 2019 PBA D-League finals on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. PHOTO FROM PBA D-LEAGUE FACEBOOK PAGE

As close as they are to a breakthrough D-League crown, assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga wants the Eagles to remain focused on the game at hand.

“We have to play and be present each game. We’re not looking past what will happen. We have to make sure that we do our job and prepare well,” said Arespacochaga.

Team captain Thirdy Ravena, Ivorian big man Ange Kouame and Conference MVP Isaac Go are expected to lead the Eagles’ balanced attack anew.

Matt and Mike Nieto, BJ Andrade and William Navarro are out to provide additional firepower for Cignal-Ateneo.

For CEU veteran mentor Derrick Pumaren, he just wants to see his seven-man squad to play all-out regardless of the result.

“Like what I said before, these boys are already champions in my eyes. Whatever happens, we’re just going to go out and try to give a hell of a fight to Ateneo,” said Pumaren.

The Scorpions will bank on Senegalese center Maodo Malick Diouf, Rich Guinitaran and Jerome Santos in an attempt to force a championship decider.

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