Inspired Terrafirma emerged as the only team that advanced to the knockout stage of the PBA 3×3 third leg following a flawless Day 1 showing at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Saturday, November 27.
Dedicating their performance to Roider Cabrera, the Dyip topped Pool A after nailing their first three games with wins over the Meralco Bolts, Pioneer Pro Tibay, and NorthPort Batang Pier.
Terrafirma was left without arguably its best player as Cabrera got hospitalized on Wednesday, November 24, after he collapsed in their dugout midway through the second leg.
But his absence seemed to have lit a fire under the Dyip, who opened the third leg with a stunning 22-18 victory over the second leg champion Bolts.
Terrafirma then hacked out a 17-14 win over Pioneer and wrapped up Day 1 with a 21-11 mauling of the Batang Pier.
Matt Salem filled the scoring void left by Cabrera with an average of 7.3 points for the Dyip, while Dhon Reverente normed 5.3 points.
Meralco (2-1), Pioneer (2-2), and NorthPort (1-2) vie for the last two quarterfinal berths up for grabs in Pool A, while the Zamboanga Valientes bowed out after dropping their first three games.
Over in Pool B, the Sista Super Sealers put one foot in the knockout round door with a perfect 2-0 record as it thwarted Platinum Karaoke, 22-19, and the San Miguel Beermen, 21-20.
Still, not one Pool B team is guaranteed of a quarterfinals spot as Platinum (1-1) and Barangay Ginebra (1-1) can still forge a three-way tie at 2-1.
It is the same scenario in Pool C even as the Purefoods TJ Titans went undefeated in Day 1 against the Cavitex Braves, 21-13, and Limitless App Masters, 20-17, to finish with a 2-0 slate.
Both the App Masters (1-1) and the TNT Tropang Giga (1-1) can still qualify for the knockout stage and eliminate the TJ Titans depending on the remaining pool round games.
Meanwhile, the Beermen and the Braves crashed out of quarterfinals contention in their respective pools with identical 0-2 cards.
It was a particularly heartbreaking exit for San Miguel as it lost both of its first two games by just a point.
The third leg wraps up on Sunday, November 28. – Rappler.com