PBA Philippine Cup

Still alive: Terrafirma drags No. 1 San Miguel to do-or-die with first-ever playoff win

Delfin Dioquino

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Still alive: Terrafirma drags No. 1 San Miguel to do-or-die with first-ever playoff win

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

PBA Images

Back in the quarterfinals for the first time in eight years, No. 8 Terrafirma pulls off the biggest upset in the PBA Philippine Cup by taking down No. 1 San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines – Who says Terrafirma is easy work?

Back in the quarterfinals for the first time in eight years, the No. 8 Dyip earned their first playoff win in franchise history and pulled off the biggest upset in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 106-95 victory over No. 1 San Miguel.

Juami Tiongson, Stephen Holt, and Isaac Go all breached the 20-point mark as Terrafirma surprised the sizable crowd at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, May 11, by dragging the twice-to-beat Beermen to a do-or-die clash.

“We just made plays, made it difficult for them. We all know this is a champion team, they’re used to being down and they’re used to being up,” said Go.

“They’ve been through it all. We have to be the one to be extra mature, extra careful, extra disciplined down the stretch. Because this team has been there, done that.”

Only a few expected the result considering the paths the two teams took on the way to the playoffs.

San Miguel almost became the fifth team in PBA history to go unbeaten in the elimination round as it clinched the top seed with a 10-1 record.

Meanwwhile, the Dyip needed to survive NorthPort in a sudden death for the last quarterfinal berth only to face a twice-to-win disadvantage against a mighty Beermen side that made the final four of the last four conferences.

Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel, though, kept the faith.

“We have to be a team to beat them,” said Cardel. “They followed instructions, this is what happened. We won.”

Juami Tiongson torched the Beermen to the tune of 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Holt finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals as they took turns in their second-half breakaway.

San Miguel trailed 54-55 early in the third period before Holt sank a pair of three-pointers in a personal 7-0 run that gave the Dyip a 66-55 lead.

Tiongson then closed it out after the Beermen got within 91-99 with three minutes remaining, scoring their last 7 points.

Go also shone with 22 points on a prolific 6-of-11 clip from beyond the arc, while Javi Gomez de Liaño posted a near-triple-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Another win on Wednesday, May 15, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Terrafirma will become just the fifth No. 8 seed team in league history to eliminate the No. 1 squad.

“It will be a different story. This is a champion team. We will do our part,” said Cardel.

Seven-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo netted 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 steals for San Miguel, which has lost back-to-back games since it won 10 straight matches to start the conference.

CJ Perez added 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals in the loss.

The Scores

Terrafirma 106 –Tiongson 29, Holt 25, Go 22, Gomez de Liano 15, Cahilig 6, Ramos 4, Carino 3, Camson 2, Alolino 0, Sangalang 0.

San Miguel 95 – Fajardo 21, Perez 20, Cruz 11, Lassiter 10, Romeo 9, Tautuaa 8, Ross 5, Brondial 4, Trollano 4, Manuel 0.

Quarters: 27-26, 54-49, 82-73, 106-95.


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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.