Terrafirma’s victory over Blackwater that kept its remarkable run in the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup was able to put into the spotlight those who played the supporting role for Juami Tiongson.
With Tiongson struggling to repeat his heroic performances over San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra, Reden Celda, Aldrech Ramos and Andreas Cahilig were able to deliver in the contest that ended with Terrafirma pulling away for a 96-84 triumph.
Eric Camson and Joseph Gabayni provided the muscle underneath during the run, Rashawn McCarthy some additional spark on offense while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser has also been an integral part of Terrafirma’s success with the intangibles he provides.
“Siyempre si Juami marked na siya,” said Cardel after the contest held at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga. “They will try to stop him. But they were very successful in stopping Juami.”
Tiongson had only 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting after averaging 29.5 points against powerhouse teams San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra as Blackwater made things hard for him to create some shots.
But coach Johnedel Cardel had anticipated this, which was why the 5-foot-10 guard started the game on the bench. Good thing for the Dyip, the rest were able to respond.
“There were other guys and I know may ilalaro pa sila, like Reden Celda now. Ang laking bagay. And some other players naman, nandyan lang yan e,” Cardel said.
“I told them na we have to be a team, tulungan natin, try to help Juami get open. Pag hindi, Juami will get the ball and he will be the one to decoy.”
Celda took charge of the backcourt scoring from Tiongson and put up 15 points with three triples while adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals. He averaged just 5.5 points in the previous two matches.
Ramos led the Dyip with 17 points to raise his scoring average to 15 during the winning streak while Cahilig had 12 points and 11 rebounds with his hustle and energy that prompted Cardel to compare him to former San Miguel cager Freddie Abuda.
“Si Andreas talagang hardworker yan. Para yang si Freddie Abuda nung araw,” said Cardel. “Talagang kahit gwapo yan nakikipagpalitan ng mukha yan so I’m very happy to have him.”
Now in seventh place at 3-4, the Dyip have gained momentum in their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 Governors’ Cup. But Cardel knows things could still be tricky with four games to go and a lighter schedule on tap.