PBA D-League: CEU out to spoil Ateneo party

Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo goes up for a shot as Malick Diouf of CEU looks on. (PBA Images)

Game Tuesday (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig)
4 p.m. – CEU vs Cignal-Ateneo

CIGNAL-Ateneo is going for the kill in Game Four of the 2019 PBA D-League Finals against Centro Escolar University on Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena.

The Blue Eagles have righted the ship with a dominant 67-52 Game Three victory on Thursday to go on the hill in the best-of-five championship series, calming the tides after a shocking 77-74 Game Two defeat last Tuesday.

But coach Sandy Arespacochaga knows that it’s still a process, and Cignal-Ateneo must stay in the present to win it all in the developmental ranks.

“We have to play each game and be present for each game. We can’t look past every game and we have to make sure we do our job for the next game,” said the deputy mentor.

Conference MVP Isaac Go has returned to the fort for the Blue Eagles after going under the weather in Game Two, with his arrival providing the stabilizing presence the team lacked when the Scorpions knotted the series.

Add to that the monstrous presence of Ivorian center Ange Kouame, the versatility of Thirdy Ravena, and the overall prowess of the Cignal-Ateneo bench and what we might just have a coronation.

Game time is at 4 p.m.

For CEU, however, there’s nothing to lose for the boys of coach Derrick Pumaren, with the veteran bench tactician already proud with what his side has accomplished in reaching the championship.

“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,” he said.

Senegalese slotman Maodo Malick Diouf will banner the Scorpions’ attempt on extending the series to a decider, with Rich Guinitaran, Jerome Santos, and Franz Diaz providing support.