PBA: Strong start for Terrafirma 'nothing to celebrate' about for now

PBA: Competitive start for Terrafirma ‘nothing to celebrate’ for now

/ 11:02 PM March 09, 2024

Stephen Holt Terrafirma Dyip PBA

Stephen Holt and the Terrafirma Dyip in a steady start to their PBA Philippine Cup campaign. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—There’s undoubtedly an early success for the Terrafirma front in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Despite losing to TNT on Saturday at Araneta Coliseum, there’s still a silver lining for Dyip in the defeat.

For one, Tropang Giga made easy work of Terrafirma in the previous conference with a 40-point beatdown, 133-93. This time, the 2022 Philippine  Cup finalists barely held on for a three-point win, 100-97.


READ: PBA: Juami Tiongson leading Terrafirma’s early surge

Second year forward Javi Gomez de Liaño himself sees the slow change.

But while the Dyip are looking a lot like contenders compared to previous years, de Liaño emphasized that it’s “nothing to celebrate about”–for now.

“It’s nothing to celebrate now, to be honest. We’re taking one game at a time. We’re not really looking at the big picture, at the moment we’re just focusing game by game. We fell short but our efforts were there but it wasn’t enough,” said the former UP player after finishing with 18 points and six rebounds in the defeat.


READ: Top pick Stephen Holt shows why he’s described as Terrafirma savior

The strong start to the season did not surprise de Liaño one bit, though, knowing the team has all the tools for success.  The problem lies, as it has always been, with the squad’s “winning experience.”


But once Terrafirm continues with the way it has been as of late, then the “change” that longtime PBA coach Chot Reyes saw on Saturday could be seen on a much larger scale.

Draft picks making impact

Terrafirma's Javi Gomez de Liaño.

Terrafirma’s Javi Gomez de Liaño. –PBA IMAGES

“Definitely, in terms of talent, we’re up there. You can see we got great individual guys. It’s just a matter of having that winning experience. That’s the only thing we’re missing. Sooner or later, we’ll eventually be up there,” Reyes said.

The uprising of Terrafirma—as well as other usually-backwater teams—has been catching notice in the PBA.

READ: Cariaso says replica of franchise-best start ‘nothing to be boastful for’

“What we’re seeing in the league now is not only Terrafirma. Blackwater’s there, you saw Phoenix last conference, even Northport, they really stocked up. They’ve made some very good picks in the draft and we’re seeing it now,” said Reyes.

“Look at how Stephen Holt is playing, Christian David [in Blackwater]. In Northport, there’s (Cade) Flores and Zav Lucero. They’re all showing up now and that’s making them a lot more competitive.”

Blackwater is currently atop the all-Filipino conference ladder with an unblemished record after three games.

READ: All the top PBA draft picks that Terrafirma has let go

Ginebra sits at the second seed after winning its conference opener over Rain or Shine on Friday but the third spot is currently in a four-way logjam.

The surprising factor? Those four teams are TNT, NLEX, Terrafirma and Northport.

Just last conference, TNT finished the eighth seed, NLEX and Terrafirma missed the playoffs and Northport was a first-round exit at the hands of the Gin Kings.

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Of course, it’s important to note that Magnolia and San Miguel have yet to play their respective openers but there’s still an obvious change that could change the trend in the league–if it continues.

TAGS: Javi Gomez de Liaño, PBA Philippine Cup, Terrafirma Dyip

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