CIGNAL-San Beda doused Racal's late-game surge to run away with a 93-85 win in Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday.
Jason Perkins starred anew for the Hawkeyes as he erupted with 28 points on top of eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal to help his team move a win away from claiming the Aspirants' Cup crown.
Pamboy Raymundo followed up a stellar outing in Game Three of the semifinals against Tanduay and scattered 21 markers to go with three rebounds and the same number of assists.
Robert Bolick added 19 points.
"We did a good job today, we started strong. Racal is really capable of coming back. It's really the boys who stepped up and stopped the bleeding," said Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez.
Rey Nambatac lit up in the fourth period, dropping eight of his 23 points to lead Racal's rally.
Nambatac crossed Davon Potts before hitting a step-back three-pointer that pulled the Tile Masters to within five, 86-81.
But the Hawkeyes scored four straight points to hold steady, with Potts hitting the dagger of a jumper with 30 ticks to go as Cignal went up 93-84.
Jackson Corpuz added 16 points for the Tile Masters.
Game Two is on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
CIGNAL 93 – Perkins 28, Raymundo 21, Bolick 19, Adamos 7, Arboleda 7, Oftana 6, Potts 5, Mocon 0, Batino 0, Tongco 0, Villarias 0, Bringas 0
RACAL 85 – Nambatac 23, Corpuz 15, Onwubere 14, Gabayni 8, Salado 7, Torres 6, Mangahas 5, Dagangon 4, Capacio 2, Cabrera 1, Terso 0, Flores 0, Gabawan 0, Gumaru 0
Quarterscores: 26-14, 55-36, 74-59, 93-85