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Cignal reaches D-L finals

Cignal ended the dream run of Marinerong Pilipino behind a big second half to produce an 87-64 victory and secure its second straight finals appearance yesterday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Raymar Jose, in what could be his last game before leaving for Malaysia to represent Gilas Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games, overcame a busy day that saw him suit up for the national squad in a morning tune-up against Adamson to register 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Hawkeyes swept their best-of-three semis series with the Skippers.

Pamboy Raymundo had 18 points, four assists and three rebounds, John Villarias scored 16 and Jonathan Uyloan, loaned from the PBA’s Meralco Bolts, fired four triples on his way to 15 points to also key Cignal’s return trip to the biggest stage of the PBA’s developmental tournament.

“We’re happy that we made it to the finals,” said Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez, expressing satisfaction with the feat after a difficult start to the conference. “It was a tough conference for us. We played seven straight in three weeks, but we’re here, and hopefully, we’ll finish it with a championship.”

Cignal will face either Flying V or Centro Escolar University in a best-of-three title series which will start depending on the outcome of their semis series.

Flying V was also looking to sweep CEU in their game being at presstime. The Thunder took Game 1, 65-61.

Robbie Herndon and Jeff Javillonar scored 17 points apiece for Marinerong Pilipino, which ended its impressive campaign that saw the rookie squad overcome a 1-4 start to reach the semifinals with seven consecutive wins.

But Marinero ran out of luck against a hot Cignal team that described itself as the underdog going into the series.

The Skippers had beaten the Hawkeyes twice – once in a pre-tournament scrimmage and during the eliminations.