PBA: Terrrafirma drags San Miguel by the collar into do-or-die
PBA ALL-FILIPINO

PBA: Terrrafirma drags San Miguel by the collar into do-or-die

Terrafirma Dyip's Stephen Holt in the PBA Philippine Cup

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

Midnight refused to strike once again for Cinderella Terrafirma following a stunning win that pushed heavyweight San Miguel Beer to a fight for survival in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal matchup.

But for rookie Stephen Holt, the 106-95 win on Saturday afternoon at Rizal Memorial Coliseum allowed the Dyip to prove something for a long-time audience and the so-called casuals hungry to see something new to a league dominated by traditional powerhouses.

“This is what you guys want; you guys want a competitive league. You want parity,” Holt told a good-sized crowd, most of them waiting for the Barangay Ginebra-Magnolia showdown but were rooting for eighth-ranked Terrafirma to get one over the league’s top seed.

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READ: PBA: No fear in Terrafirma ahead of showdown vs San Miguel

Terrafirma never let up despite attempts by San Miguel to come back and use a quick route to the PBA semifinals, and put itself in a position to do the unthinkable on Wednesday when the two squads meet at Ninoy Aquino Stadium for the rubber match.

Holt was one of the reasons why Terrafirma won its first-ever playoff game, posting 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, a proof of his lofty billing as the top pick of the Rookie Draft.

“I remember every interview that I took, from media day all the way up to this point, that I want to affect this team in a positive way,” Holt later told the Inquirer. “I want to change the culture, change the narrative and show the league, the fans that watch the game, that we can compete with any team in the league.

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Run it back

“And we’ve proven that this entire [conference]. A lot of close losses and we had close games against the big teams. At the end of the day, we try to be confident in both our offense and defense and continue to trust each other.

“That’s what we’ve displayed in this game, and we hope to run it back on Wednesday,” added Holt.

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Repeating over the Beermen, who once flirted with an elimination sweep and a favorite to wrest another all-Filipino title that would complete a season double, would allow the Dyip to reach the previously unreachable.

“All of us want to continue this,” said Isaac Go. “We don’t want to see the story of this season end. We want to try and keep it going as much as possible. So we lived another day. Knockout on Wednesday, winner advances, loser goes home.”

The winner will face either TNT or Rain or Shine in a best-of-seven affair. The Tropang Giga, who took Game 1 of their best-of-three series with a 116-99 win on Friday, go for the sweep on Sunday at the same venue.

A determined Juami Tiongson pumped in 29 points after knocking down 11 of 20 shots, Go had 22 points and five rebounds while Javi Gomez de Liaño added 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to cap off a splendid showing by the Dyip core.

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June Mar Fajardo’s 21 points and ex-Dyip CJ Perez’s 20 were not enough to keep the Beermen from being forced into a precarious situation.

TAGS: PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beer, Terrafirma Dyip

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