Terrafirma’s bid for a third straight win could possibly overshadow a pair of heavyweight battles Sunday, Sept. 5 in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Coming off stunning upsets over San Miguel Beer and defending champion Barangay Ginebra, Terrafirma is favored to run roughshod over winless Blackwater in the opening game of a tripleheader at 2 p.m.
Ginebra takes on Meralco at 4:35 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s thrilling Philippine Cup semifinals before unbeaten TNT stakes its hold on top spot against second-running Magnolia at 7 p.m.
But the spotlight will likely be on the Dyip, who suddenly became a team in contention for a playoff berth at 2-4 after their 110-104 overtime win over the Beermen followed by a 95-90 triumph at the expense of the Gin Kings.
Juami Tiongson is expected to be the center of attention after his output of 28 and 31 points against the two perennial contenders enabled the Johnedel Cardel-coached Terrafirma to become one of the top stories of the PBA restart.
The clash with the Bossing was initially ridiculed as a battle between two teams that failed to win a single game when the first two weeks of the eliminations were played at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
While Terrafirma’s fortunes have changed, Blackwater’s struggles continued in Bacolor with defeats to TNT and Magnolia. Now the Bossing are at 0-6 with 14 straight losses since last year’s PBA bubble.
Ginebra, with a 2-3 record, is out to redeem itself from the Terrafirma defeat opposite Meralco, in third at 5-2 but fell 91-76 to TNT two days prior.
It will be the first meeting of both teams since the deciding fifth game of the aforementioned semis showdown that ended with Scottie Thompson knocking down a three that sent Ginebra to the PBA Finals.
TNT’s rout of Meralco made it five wins in a row to begin coach Chot Reyes’ second tenure, but Magnolia, at 5-1 for second place, is out to regain top spot.