Tiongson stars anew as Terrafirma stuns defending champ Ginebra

Published September 3, 2021, 5:19 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

Juami Tiongson and Terrafirma pulled off another upset by spoiling the return of defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 95-90, Friday, Sept. 2 in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Tiongson scored a career-high 31 points spiked by nine three-pointers to lead a stunning performance by the Dyip, who led 17 at one point before preventing the Gin Kings to complete their late comeback for another gigantic win.

Eric Camson, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Aldrech Ramos, Rashawn McCarthy, Joseph Gabayni and Andreas Cahilig were also instrumental for the Dyip, who produced their first-ever win over Ginebra since entering the PBA in 2014.

The franchise previously known as Kia, Mahindra and Columbian lost all 16 games against the league’s most popular ballclub going into the contest.

Terrafirma’s win also came two days after a shock 110-104 overtime triumph over another powerhouse in San Miguel Beer when Tiongson set his previous high of 28 points.

Prior to the resumption of the season-opening conference, Terrafirma lost all four games in July at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City and started its Pampanga campaign without the injured rookie Joshua Munzon and sophomore big man Roosevelt Adams.

Taking two from the perennial contenders that resulted in the first back-to-back wins since the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup put the Dyip in a three-way share of eighth place at 2-4 with the Alaska Aces and the Phoenix Superr LPG Fuel Masters.

“Wow, wala akong masabi,” said coach Johnedel Cardel. “This is a great game, second win for us. Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila.”

Camson had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Ramos had 11 points and five rebounds while McCarthy added 10 points.

Playing scrappy throughout were Ganuelas-Rosser with seven points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals, Gabayni five points and nine rebounds and Cahilig posting five points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Behind Tiongson’s hot shooting the rest doing their jobs on both ends, Terrafirma gained a 72-55 lead in the third which stunned a Ginebra side.

Ginebra, however, slowly inched its way back in the fourth as LA Tenorio knocked back-to-back triples and Christian Standhardinger drained two foul shots to cut Terrafirma’s lead to 88-85 with 1:12 to go.

Double-teamed in previous possessions, Tiongson found McCarthy open for a triple that gave the Dyip a 91-85 lead which was enough to secure the unlikely triumph.

Standhardinger had 17 points and eight rebounds as Ginebra dropped to 2-3.

The scores:

TERRAFIRMA 95 — Tiongson 31, Camson 15, Ramos 11, McCarthy 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Gabayni 5, Cahilig 5, Celda 5, Laput 2, Batiller 2, Calvo 2.

GINEBRA 90 — Standhardinger 17, Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Thompson 12, Pringle 11, Caperal 11, Ayaay 5, Mariano 2, Salado 2, Enriquez 0. 

Quarters: 22-23, 51-46, 78-65, 95-90.