PBA: Terrafirma boosts quarterfinals after edging NorthPort

Terrafirma Dyip's Louie Sangalang in the PBA Philippine Cup

Terrafirma Dyip’s Louie Sangalang in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Terrafirma eked out a 110-108 victory over skidding NorthPort to close in on ending its long quarterfinal drought in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Stephen Holt scored a go-ahead layup with 3.1 seconds left before fellow rookie Kemark Carino blocked Arvin Tolentino’s attempt at a game-tying basket as the Dyip improved to 5-5 after two straight defeats.

The Dyip will likely get themselves into the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 Governors’ Cup, if they can score an upset over the Magnolia Hotshots on May 3 at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

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

Holt finished with a team-high 22 points, taking the cudgels of producing the winning basket after Juami Tiongson was disqualified for six personal fouls.

Coach Johnedel Cardel got a vital contribution from another neophyte and bruiser Louie Sangalang with 19 points and five rebounds.

READ: Surprise wearing off for Terrafirma, Blackwater

NorthPort absorbed its fifth straight loss, going down to 4-6, but stayed in eighth spot in the standings.

The Batang Pier are barely ahead of three teams with similar 3-5 slates—Phoenix, Blackwater and Meralco.

Terrafirma Dyip’s Stephen Holt in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Their last elimination round assignment is on Saturday against Blackwater in Caloocan City.

Tolentino, who scored 25 points off the bench, scored two foul shots to tie the game at 108-all after Terrafirma led by a high of 12 in the second half.

Holt used Isaac Go’s screen to create confusion on NorthPort’s defense, eventually finding some space inside for the eventual winner.

The scores:

TERRAFIRMA 110—Holt 22, Tiongson 21, Sangalang 19, Gomez de Liano 14, Go 10, Carino 9, Alolino 7, Cahilig 6, Ramos 2, Camson 0, Calvo 0.

NORTHPORT 108—Tolentino 25, Flores 18, Navarro 17, Bulanadi 14, Zamar 10, Lucero 9, Munzon 7, Chan 5, Paraiso 3, Cuntapay 0, Yu 0.

Quarters: 27-22, 54-55, 88-78, 110-108.