Stephen Holt determined to tow Terrafirma to places

Stephen Holt determined to tow Terrafirma to places he’s familiar with

/ 04:30 AM March 02, 2024

Terrafirma PBA Stephen Holt

Terrafirma star Stephen Holt in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Stephen Holt admitted that missing the playoffs the way Terrafirma did in his first conference in the PBA stung him a lot.

“It’s difficult,” Holt told the Inquirer. “I’ve never been in this situation in my career, losing this many games and being towards the bottom of a league.”

But a new conference brings new hope for Holt and the Dyip, who opened the Philippine Cup in dominant fashion before producing a 107-99 win over the Converge FiberXers before a sparse Friday crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup

Holt finished with a career-high 27 points with 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals while teaming up with Juami Tiongson to win a contest that saw Terrafirma leading by as many as 24.

It’s a good way to start off a tournament for Holt, who described himself as a player who has been used to being in the playoffs in different leagues and different continents he’s played in the past before being selected first overall in this season’s Rookie Draft.

“It’s been an adjustment, mentally, and just trying to stay positive,” said Holt. “I mean, we work just as hard as any other team so I know it’s my responsibility not to lose our intensity in practice and making sure that I’m firing them up in all cylinders, offensively and defensively.


READ: Stephen Holt not letting losing PBA debut affect his confidence

Terrafirma won two of its first three games in the Commissioner’s Cup, only to lose eight in a row and finish near the bottom of the standings.


Done with adjustments

The import-flavored conference also saw Holt adjusting to the PBA grind, though the final game of that dismal campaign gave himself a confidence-booster.

Holt scored 26 points, his previous high, with five rebounds and five assists on Jan. 12, which still ended in a Terrafirma defeat.

“I was able to end the conference in the right way, and I started this conference the right way,” he said. “That is super important for me and the team.”

READ: PBA: Selection of Stephen Holt may ease weight Juami carries

But is his performance and the team result a sign of promise for Terrafirma, which has never made the quarterfinals since the 2016 Governors’ Cup for the PBA’s longest active drought?

“It’s one game at a time,” said Holt. “I mean, it’s really difficult for a group like us that hasn’t tasted too much success. We just got to stay positive, keep working like we had in the lead-up to this conference.“Again, we can only control what we can control,” he added.

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Tiongson topscored with 30 points on 10-of-21 shooting, validating his status as a first-time selection in this month’s All-Star Game in Bacolod City. He and Holt were key in turning the contest into a rout in the second quarter, as Converge had no answer for the pair.

TAGS: PBA, Sports

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