Tiongson waxes hot as Terrafirma shocks Meralco for breakthrough win

Juami Tiongson erupted for 30 points and provided Terrafirma a huge lift in the final frame to shock Meralco, 96-88, in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, Jan. 28

Juami Tiongson provides a huge lift for Terrafirma's breakthrough win. (PBA Images)

The Dyip went off to a hot start but put up an even stronger finish behind the heroics of Tiongson and Eric Camson to not only pick up their first win of the conference but also snap a seven-game losing skid at the hands of the Bolts since 2015.

With Meralco threatening to comeback from a 17-point deficit early in the final frame, Tiongson and Camson made big plays down the stretch to keep the Bolts at bay with the latter scoring on an important putback layup off his own miss to give the Dyip the much-need breathing space.

Only up by six, 90-84, with under a minute left and the Dyip struggling to execute against the Bolt defense, Camson hauled down two huge offensive boards – none bigger than the last one off his own miss which he converted into a layup led to establish an eight point lead, 92-84, with 26 ticks left.

Tiongson, who also dropped 12 of his total output in the payoff period, iced the game with two more free throws. He fired six triples to go along with his three rebounds and three assist Import Jordan Williams followed up his stellar debut with 29 points and eight rebounds while Camson added a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Terrafirma actually got going early, opening the contest with a 9-0 spurt before Meralco recovered behind import KJ McDaniels. It was a nip-and-tuck affair for the rest of the first half before the Dyip stepped their foot on the gas pedal in the third frame where they unleashed another 10-2 start to widen the gap to double-digits, 62-52.

The lead ballooned to as many as 17 points, 86-69, after a Tiongson triple but the Bolts refused to go into the night silently, unloading a desperate 15-4 run to come within six in the final minute. However, that was when Camson and Tiongson made their heroics to ensure the victory for the Dyip.

KJ McDaniels paced the Bolts with 29 points and 19 rebounds while Chris Newsome and Aaron Black ended up with 13 and 12 points, respectively.