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    Cignal-Ateneo seeks twice-to-beat, faces Che-Lu in D-League

    Apr 28, 2019
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    CIGNAL-Ateneo has its eyes set on the top two spots in the Aspirants Group when it wraps up its elimination-round on Monday against Che'Lu Bar and Grill in the 2019 PBA D-League at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.

    Riding a five-game win streak and carrying a 7-1 card, the Blue Eagles can clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals with a victory over the Revellers in the 3 p.m. game.

    Playoff positioning, however, is the least of coach Tab Baldwin's concerns as he remains firm in his desire of constant improvement every game.

    "When you go through an offseason, your system should grow. We don't do a lot of our system stuff in January through June, but little by little, we're introducing a couple of different things that we may or may not use later on," he said.

    Those things worked to a tee last Thursday when Cignal-Ateneo bamboozled Batangas-EAC, 90-46.

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    Ivorian slotman Ange Kouame will be counted on to lead the fight for the Blue Eagles in their closer, together with Thirdy Ravena and brothers Matt and Mike Nieto.

    On the other hand, Che'Lu (3-2) tries to get back in the playoff race.

    The Revellers suffered a shock 101-92 loss to Go for Gold-CSB last April 15 and coach Stevenson Tiu will lean on his veterans Jeff Viernes, Jhaps Bautista and Jessie Collado, as well as promising upstarts Sean Manganti and Rey Suerte to score the upset.

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    Meanwhile, Ironcon-UST (4-1) aims for a rebound win against lowly McDavid (1-5) at 1 p.m., with the Growling Tigers looking to bounce back after their first loss of the tourney, a 114-101 defeat to Petron-Letran last April 11.

    McDavid, on the other hand, is just out to erase its forgettable showing last April 16 in its 106-31 defeat to Cignal-Ateneo, where it recorded the lowest scoring output in league history.

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    PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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