Terrafirma exhausts rare chance at PBA playoff berth

Terrafirma exhausts rare chance at PBA playoff berth

Terrafirma Dyip's Stephen Holt in the PBA Philippine Cup

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

Unbeaten San Miguel Beer and fellow title contender Barangay Ginebra will finally have some company in the quarterfinals by the end of Friday’s PBA Philippine Cup doubleheader.

One of them could be the all-Filipino tournament’s current underdog story in Terrafirma, the perennial cellar-dweller which would like to have control of its own destiny rather than rely on someone else when it takes on a traditional powerhouse reeling from two devastating defeats.

“Hopefully we can get into the quarterfinals and avoid putting ourselves in a knockout game,” Dyip coach Johnedel Cardel said ahead of the 4:30 p.m. contest against Magnolia at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.


READ: PBA: Louie Sangalang flexes usual toughness for Terrafirma

The other game will see NLEX taking on Rain or Shine at 7:30 p.m., with the winner likewise joining the one that prevails in the Terrafirma-Magnolia affair to the last eight.

All teams seeing action at PhilSports have five wins apiece, and six is the current magic number for anyone aspiring to have a taste of playoff basketball.

The weekend will see the chase for quarterfinal spots get even wackier, with Meralco, also with five wins, aiming for the stars by preventing San Miguel Beer from ending the conference with an 11-game elimination sweep on Saturday in Batangas City.

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


Another five-win team in TNT faces Magnolia while NLEX takes on Ginebra on Sunday at Ninoy Aquino Stadium to wrap up the eliminations.

Embarrassing setback

Any of those five teams could wind up without a victory in their remaining classification games and could still sneak into the quarterfinals since No. 9 NorthPort is playing the waiting game after completing all of their assignments with a 5-6 (win-loss) record.


Scenarios appear to indicate that a playoff for No. 8 slated on Wednesday could happen, the opponents to be known in a tiebreaker.

And hoping to avoid being placed in that predicament are other perennial contenders in Magnolia and TNT.

Magnolia lost its last two games, including an embarrassing 23-point setback to Meralco where coach Chito Victolero’s wards scored only 51 points.

TNT failed to snatch the third quarters seat on Wednesday when it fell to tailender Converge, 107-103.

The Dyip are aiming for their first playoff appearance since the 2016 Governors’ Cup, with Juami Tiongson, rookie Stephen Holt, Isaac Go and Javi Gomez de Liaño looking to deliver.

But Cardel would like the rest of his players to step up and avoid being over-reliant on Terrafirma’s main cogs.

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“We expect teams to be focused on our key players, that’s why we want our players to be confident, especially [when it comes to] shooting the ball,” said Cardel.

TAGS: PBA Philippine Cup, Terrafirma Dyip

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