MANILA, Aug. 11 -- As his stint in the SEA Games draws near, Toto Jose gave Cignal the lift in his potential farewell game.
The bruiser led the Hawkeyes' 86-67 rout of the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers in Game 1 of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday night.
Jose led Cignal's breakaway in the third quarter, in which the team led by as much as 24, 62-38.
Marinero still mounted a comeback bid, cutting the lead to half with 3:24 left, but that was all the team could come within as it saw its seven-game winning streak that catapulted the club to the semifinals despite the dismal 1-4 start come to an end.
“I’m really happy that the starters stepped up on defense. We’re pressured enough to play at our best today given the fact that we haven’t played for a long while. But credit to my boys again. They really played their hearts out today,” said Coach Boyet Fernandez.
Jose finished with 17 points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who can officially put the Skippers' Cinderella run to a complete halt on Tuesday at the said venue.
“Thank you ako kay Raymar. I had to play him for the whole of the third quarter and he did his job for us,” added Fernandez.
Jason Perkins added 13 markers, 18 boards, three assists, one steal, and one block.
Byron Villarias also chipped in 13 points with four rebounds, and three dimes.
Pao Javelona topped Marinero with 11 points.
Cignal 86-Jose 17, Perkins 13, Villarias 13, Sumalinog 12, Arboleda 6, Bringas 6, Cahilig 6, Raymundo 5, Batino 4, Sara 4, Apinan 0, Uyloan 0
Marinerong Pilipino 67-Javelona 11, Sargent 8, Subido 8, Moralde 7, Herndon 6, Lopez 6, Iñigo 5, Marata 5, Alabanza 3, Isip 3, Javillonar 3, Gabriel 2
Quarterscores: 34-14, 48-29, 65-45, 86-67 (PNA)