PBA Philippine Cup

No hard feelings as Gomez de Liaño torches Ginebra in rare Terrafirma win

Delfin Dioquino

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No hard feelings as Gomez de Liaño torches Ginebra in rare Terrafirma win

JUMP SHOT. Javi Gomez de Liau00f1o in action for the Terrafirma Dyip in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Javi Gomez de Liaño turns in his finest performance of the conference against Barangay Ginebra, the PBA team that drafted, and eventually, traded him

MANILA, Philippines – Javi Gomez de Liaño played his best game of the PBA Philippine Cup in a rare win against the very same team that drafted, and eventually, traded him.

Coincidence? Probably.

But Gomez de Liaño made it clear he has no hard feelings towards Barangay Ginebra as he lifted Terrafirma to a surprising 91-85 win with a conference-high 22 points at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, April 7.

The sophomore forward shot a near-perfect 9-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and added 6 rebounds and 3 blocks to help the Dyip topple the Gin Kings for just the second time in league history.

“Honestly, just to be honest, I was over it already since last year,” said Gomez de Liaño when asked if he felt an added satisfaction by beating Ginebra, which picked him No. 8 overall in 2022 but shortly shipped him to Terrafirma.

“Of course, I did not know why I got traded, but I shifted my focus right away to how I can help Terrafirma. Once I started training with them from Day 1, that has always been my goal – how I can help the team.”

History favored the Gin Kings in the head-to-head matchup as they defeated the Dyip in all but one of their 22 previous encounters.

The only time Terrafirma beat mighty Ginebra came in the 2021 Philippine Cup held inside a bubble in Bacolor, Pampanga, where the Dyip scored a breakthrough 95-90 win.

But the Gin Kings bounced back and nailed their last five battles by nearly 14 points.

That streak ended on Sunday as Gomez de Liaño took over in the second half, dropping 11 points in the third quarter for a 64-61 edge and 8 points early in the fourth period that allowed Terrafirma to pull away and build a double-digit lead.

Juami Tiongson, the hero in that landmark victory three years ago, delivered anew with a game-high 25 points on top of 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Tiongson knocked down a pair of free throws that gave the Dyip a 91-79 cushion with under two minutes left – a lead big enough to ward off a last-ditch Ginebra comeback.

“It is just a collective effort from the team. It started in the second half. Based on our history, sometimes, we tend to slack off at the start of the third,” said Gomez de Liaño.

“We made sure as a group, the ones who started in the second half, to make an impact already.”

Top rookie Stephen Holt also delivered 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists, while fellow newcomer Kemark Cariño added 12 points and 5 rebounds for Terrafirma, which improved to 4-3.

Christian Standhardinger finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds to pace the Gin Kings, although he sat out the entire fourth quarter as assistant coach Richard del Rosario stuck with Japeth Aguilar and Sidney Onwubere.

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone handed the coaching reins to Del Rosario out of frustration with the Gin Kings’ sluggish play that resulted in the team absorbing its second straight loss and slipping to 3-3.

Aguilar had 18 points and 5 rebounds in the loss.

The Scores

Terrafirma 91 – Tiongson 25, Gomez de Liano 22, Carino 12, Holt 12, Go 9, Sangalang 7, Cahilig 2, Alolino 2, Olivario 0, Calvo 0, Ramos 0.

Barangay Ginebra 85 – Standhardinger 21, J.Aguilar 18, Tenorio 11, Malonzo 10, Onwubere 9, Ahanmisi 6, Pessumal 6, Pringle 2Cu 2, Pinto 0, R. Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 24-17, 41-40, 64-61, 91-85.

– 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.