PBA Philippine Cup

Tiongson says job not yet done as Terrafirma ends long playoff dry spell

Delfin Dioquino

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Tiongson says job not yet done as Terrafirma ends long playoff dry spell

STAR. Juami Tiongson in action for the Terrafirma Dyip in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

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Juami Tiongson and Terrafirma brace for an uphill climb as they face mighty San Miguel in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Making the PBA playoffs for the first time in eight years should be a cause for celebration for Terrafirma, but Juami Tiongson knows more work needs to be done.

After all, the Dyip face an uphill climb in their bid to make the semifinals for the first time in franchise history as they battle top seed San Miguel in the quarterfinals at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Saturday, May 11.

Falling just a win short of becoming only the fifth team in PBA history to sweep the elimination round, the Beermen finished with a 10-1 record to secure the No. 1 spot and the twice-to-beat advantage that comes with it.

“I told my teammates that we should not be overconfident. The fact that we made the playoffs does not mean that the job is done,” said Tiongson in a mix of Filipino and English.

“There are still a lot of games to be played. Anything can happen.”

While defending champion San Miguel stands as the clear-cut favorite, Terrafirma showed it can keep in step with the mighty Beermen.

In their elimination-round clash last April 10, the Dyip built a lead as big as 12 points before losing by one possession as San Miguel hacked out a 113-110 win.

This conference also saw Terrafirma catch a couple of big fishes, with the Dyip beating playoff-bound teams Barangay Ginebra and NLEX.

“We’re going up against the most elite team here in the PBA. Honestly, just play to have fun. When we’re having fun, we enjoy each other and the game becomes easier,” said Tiongson.

Tiongson is expected to be a marked man as he ranks second in scoring in the entire league with an average of 21.8 points, just behind Robert Bolick (27.4 points).

Putting his scoring prowess to good use, Tiongson erupted for a conference-high-tying 30 points as Terrafirma earned a 104-96 win on Wednesday, May 8, in their sudden death for the eighth and last playoff berth.

“Most of the time, at this time of the conference, we’re already on vacation. Just to be able to have that chance and opportunity to play in a knockout game got me excited,” said Tiongson. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.