Terrafirma rolls to third straight win at expense of Blackwater

Photo from PBA

Juami Tiongson’s struggles didn’t prevent Terrafirma from extending its magical run in the first week of the PBA Philippine Cup restart after prevailing over Blackwater, 96-84, Sunday, Sept. 5 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Dyip had to rely on a number of players, primarily Aldrech Ramos, Reden Celda and Andreas Cahilig, as they overcame a determined Bossing side for three quarters before unleashing an onslaught in the fourth to claim their third win in a row after a 0-4 start.

Ramos topscored with 17 points, Celda produced 15 spiked by three triples while the scrappy Cahilig put up 12 points and 11 rebounds that enabled Terrafirma to climb up in seventh spot in the standings.

Coach Johnedel Cardel was aware that Terrafirma would be in a tricky situation after pulling off stunning upsets over San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra and facing a Blackwater side that sits in the bottom without a victory to show.

“I knew it will happen,” said Cardel. “Sinabi ko sa mga players ko if they will show up, no pressure. Blackwater has great players and they have a great coach. We didn't underestimate them.

“Yun nga, nanalo. Dumikit sila sa amin, but we stayed focus, we stayed humble. As a team, we played defense, we played patiently kaya medyo nakalaro na kami,” Cardel added.

Tiongson was held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting, a far cry from splendid performances of 28 against SMB and a career-high 31 opposite Ginebra in an incredible stretch for the 5-foot-10 guard who’s known more as a role player than a main scorer.

Even if he came off the bench in anticipation of Blackwater’s gameplan, Tiongson had to bleed for his points against the likes of Ron Dennison and Paul Desiderio.

At the same time, Blackwater was controlling the tempo and led by a high of 13 in the second quarter, 40-27, behind Simon Enciso, Mike Tolomia and Baser Amer.

The Dyip began to close in late in the third and caught a big break before the start of the fourth when an Enciso three a few possessions earlier was nullified after a video review showed that the Bossing guard failed to beat the shot clock.

That opened the door for Celda, Ramos, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Rashawn McCarthy and Cahilig to make key shots while forcing stops on the other end. Eric Camson’s putback with 6:34 remaining gave the Dyip an 84-70 lead, which left no doubt that the outcome was theirs.

Blackwater dropped to 0-7 after suffering a franchise record 15th consecutive defeat, erasing the previous mark of 14 stretching from its maiden conference in the 2015 Philippine Cup to the first few games of the Commissioner’s Cup.

Tolomia had 14 points, Enciso scored 13 but was 1-of-9 from the field in the second half while Amer and Desiderio added 11 each.

The scores:

TERRAFIRMA 96 — Ramos 17, Celda, 15, Cahilig 12, Tiongson 10, McCarthy 10, Gabayni 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 9, Camson 4, Laput 4, Adams 3, Calvo 2, Batiller 1.

BLACKWATER 84 — Tolomia 14, Enciso 13, Daquioag 12, Amer 11, Desiderio 11, Nabong 8, Cruz 4, Golla 3, Torralba 3, Dennison 2, Magat 2, Escoto 1, Canaleta 0, Paras 0.

Quarters: 16-22, 39-43, 65-65, 96-84.