CIGNAL-Ateneo showed no mercy as it used a strong second quarter surge to down Centro Escolar University, 101-66, and draw first blood in the 2019 PBA D-League Finals Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Blue Eagles recovered from a shaky first quarter showing, breaking the floodgates with a 29-15 second period windup to take a 54-31 halftime lead.
The lead further swelled to as high as 39, 78-39, in the third quarter as Cignal-Ateneo pulled off the most lopsided PBA D-League Finals game in history with the 35-point drubbing.
Isaac Go waxed hot for 17 points on a 4-of-6 shooting from downtown, to go with four rebounds, and two assists, as Thirdy Ravena collected 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
SJ Belangel also did his damage in the first half, uncorking nine of his 12 points in the first two frames as the Blue Eagles ran away with the Game One victory.
"We knew coming into the game that they went through a very tough best-of-three against St. Clare and we had more rest. We just wanted to make sure that we use our bench and I think that's what happened," said deputy coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Game Two is on Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf paced CEU with 21 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and three assists, as Jerome Santos got 13 points and five boards in the defeat. with reports from Andrew Mencias
CIGNAL-ATENEO 101 -- Go 17, Ravena 15, Belangel 12, Kouame 9, Ma. Nieto 9, Tio 8, Wong 8, Daves 7, Andrade 5, Mi. Nieto 3, Mamuyac 3, Mendoza 3, Berjay 2, Navarro 0, Credo 0.
CEU 66 -- Diouf 21, Santos 13, Guinitaran 12, Diaz 6, Bernabe 6, Intic 4, Sunga 2, Abastillas 2.
Quarters: 25-16, 54-31, 80-45, 101-66.