Juami Tiongson validates PBA All-Star status with game-winner

Juami Tiongson validates PBA All-Star status with game-winner

/ 05:10 AM March 17, 2024

Juami Tiongson Terrafirma PBA

Terrafirma guard Juami Tiongson.–PBA IMAGES

Juami Tiongson and Terrafirma could have called it a day when everything seemed lost on a rare playdate Saturday afternoon at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

When the opportunity to rally back presented itself, the Dyip took advantage and Tiongson sealed the incredible comeback with a three-pointer that beat the Blackwater Bossing, 92-91, in the PBA Philippine Cup.


“I thought [that shot] was for overtime,” Tiongson told coach Johnedel Cardel upon entering the press room.


READ: PBA: Juami Tiongson thought game-winning 3 only forced OT

Tiongson’s heroics, which came with 12.5 seconds left in a game where the Dyip were down by 19 at one point in the third quarter, put Terrafirma at 3-2 (win-loss) in the all-Filipino tournament. It also showed why he’s a worthy inclusion to next weekend’s PBA All-Star Game in Bacolod City.

It’s also a testament to his refusal to lose, especially at a time when he felt his basketball career hit rock bottom.

“I was actually planning to quit basketball,” he said in a recent interview with The Inquirer. “Next thing you know, I’m an All-Star.”

The Ateneo product was a first-round selection of Blackwater in the 2014 draft, but played a total of 20 games in his first two seasons before eventually being relegated to the PBA D-League.

READ: Juami Tiongson says PBA All-Star inclusion ‘just the beginning’ for him


That prompted Tiongson to have thoughts of taking a new direction, but was urged by his mother to give it a second try.

Not only did he take another chance, Tiongson took advantage of what he had at the time, performing well for the Blackwater-owned Blustar side as one of two Filipinos reinforcing a Malaysian-flavored lineup in the developmental league.

“I’m here to get my confidence and also, help the team win and gain experience,” Tiongson said during his Blustar stint, as quoted by an Inquirer.net article in 2016.

He later wound up with AMA Online Education and was among the top scorers of the D-League in 2017 when NLEX and then-coach Yeng Guiao came calling. The rest was history.

“I didn’t take that D-League experience for granted because it was there that I rediscovered my love for basketball,” Juami Tiongson said. “I was able to build my confidence and they allowed me to bring out my creativity in terms of playing the game.”

Tiongson’s three capped off a 20-point performance despite a 7-of-20 shooting owing to his struggles knocking down shots in the first half.

It was a crushing loss for the Bossing, their second straight after a 3-0 start. Rey Nambatac made one of two free throws on the previous play, missing the second attempt, setting the stage for Tiongson to deliver when it mattered.

The win was important in terms of Terrafirma’s confidence going into the two-week break due to the All-Star Weekend and the Lenten season. Tiongson is just hoping that the respite won’t kill whatever momentum they gained from the dramatic win.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We just have to stay locked in and keep working because we really have a good chance of making the playoffs,” he said.

TAGS: Blackwater Bossing, Juami Tiongson, PBA Philippine Cup, Terrafirma

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.