Improved Dyip the poster boys of balance PBA has of late
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Improved Terrafirma Dyip poster boys of balance PBA has of late

/ 05:10 AM April 13, 2024

Terrafirma guard Juami Tiongson  PBA Philippine Cup

Terrafirma guard Juami Tiongson goes for a layup against Barangay Ginebra in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

The atmosphere within the Terrafirma locker room has been different in this Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup, and much of it has been made possible by a change in outlook.

It wasn’t different on Wednesday, even after the Dyip faltered late against the mighty San Miguel Beermen in a 113-110 loss at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

“It’s fun to win, right?” Isaac Go told reporters. “It’s nice to change the look towards Terrafirma.

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“I think there was a lot of times that there’s a belief that ‘Oh, Terrafirma, that’s an easy win.’ But we now got the pieces, so we started early and the coaches worked on us. The players bonded and then believed.”

READ: PBA: Surprise wearing off for Terrafirma, Blackwater

The result? A 4-4 record with three games left in the team’s elimination round schedule. At best, Terrafirma can sweep Rain or Shine, NorthPort, and then Magnolia to finish the eliminations with a 7-4 record and give itself a quarterfinal seat if not a chance at tabbing twice-to-beat protection in the playoffs.

The worst-case scenario, meanwhile, is that the Dyip’s slide continues from here on out.

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But Go’s responses indicate that the Dyip intend to keep on believing that they have a chance at competing.

READ: PBA: Terrafirma fans playoff bid with win over Ginebra

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“After the loss, we weren’t like ‘Damn!’ or whined or anything. We played well, and we put ourselves in a good spot. Unfortunately, we just fell short. We move on.”

Terrafirma was neck andneck with San Miguel the night the league celebrated its 49th founding anniversary. If not for Mo Tautuaa—a former starter who now serves as a spark plug for the outrageously deep powerhouse—the Beermen would’ve suffered their first loss in the tournament.

Written off no more

Before Wednesday’s narrow loss, the Dyip stunned another battle-hardened team in Barangay Ginebra.

Those results came at a time when other perennial whipping boys—Blackwater and Northport—have been stringing up wins in a tournament where they are traditionally written off.

While they are on a three-game slide, the Bossing are still fifth with their 3-3 mark. The Batang Pier, meanwhile just suffered their second loss in six games and are just a game-and-a-half behind the league-leading Beermen.

The field’s development has put several coaches on notice. TNT mentor Chot Reyes previously said in a post-game presser that “teams have really upgraded.”

This, as his No. 7 Tropang Giga—a squad usually billed as a title contender—have suffered one too many losses this conference, a pair of which at the hands of Blackwater and NorthPort.

Jorge Gallent, who calls the shots for the Beermen, also reached for a sobering take after averting disaster that Wednesday night.

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“[That’s] not a scared team anymore. That’s a team that is hungry, it’s a team that wants to enter the quarters because they have a good chance now. And that’s why they’re playing like that.”

TAGS: PBA Philippine Cup, Terrafirma

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