Hawkeye force winner-take-all Game 3

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Cignal-San Beda pulled off a gritty 89-86 win over Tanduay Rhum in Game 2 of their best-of-three semifinals series forcing a knockout match in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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Former La Salle forward Jason Perkins unloaded 12 of his 15 points in the second half allowing the Hawkeyes, who withstood the late run of the Rhum Masters to tie the series at 1-all.

Robert Bollick of Cignal-San Beda attempts to shoot past Jaymo Eguilos of Tanduay Rhum during the PBA DLeague Aspirants’ Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

Benedict Adamos had a double-double performance with 13 markers and 13 boards while Robert Bolick Jr. contributed 13 markers for Cignal.

“We are still alive. At least, we have another day to live. Credit goes to the boys who really stepped up today,” said Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez.

Carrying a 12-point advantage after the third period, 70-58, the Hawkeyes became complacent and allowed Tanduay to unload a 19-7 run capped by Lester Alvarez’s eight straight points to tie the game at 77-all with 4:30 left in the game.

But Perkins hit back-to-back triples to sandwich the split of Rhum Masters’ Bong Quinto and the basket of Jaymo Eguilos to take an 83-80 lead with two minutes remaining.

Adrian Santos pushed Tanduay within striking distance with a basket, 84-85, but Pamboy Raymundo and Perkins sealed the win for the top seed Cignal with crucial baskets sending the series to a knockout Game 3 on Tuesday.

“It is a matter of who wants it more – who really wanted it more. We are up by 13 points so the other guys were just walking. I hope this situation will open their minds that if you have big lead, it is not a sure lead,” added Fernandez.

Eguilos chipped in 18 points and six rebounds while Alvarez produced 15 markers, 10 came in the fourth quarter, for Tanduay.

Paul Sanga had 11 points while Kier John Quinto and Mark Cruz contributed nine and eight points, respectively, for the Rhum Masters.

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