Mar 01, 2024

Big game from Tiongson, Holt power Terrafirma past Converge

JUAMI Tiongson scored 30 points and Stephen Holt notched a double-double in leading Terrafirma past Converge, 107-99, Friday at the start of their PBA Philippine Cup campaign at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both Tiongson and Holt started out hot and the rest of the Dyip took the cue, enabling them to build up a lead that went as high as 24 and quashing each of the FiberXers' protracted uprisings the rest of the way.

As a result, Terrafirma snapped out of an eight-game losing streak dating back to the last conference while finally scoring one over the same Converge team it hasn't beaten in their first four meetings.

Coach Johnedel Cardel mostly credited the victory to the hard work, especially on defense, that his charges put in after finishing with a 2-9 record and 10th place in the season-opening Commissioner's Cup.

"Nagbunga naman. Better thing doon, naayos namin ang depensa namin," said Cardel. "We got several opinions kung papaano kami dedepensa kasi sa tao-tao talo kami, malalaki sila. But, sabi ko, we can do this through team defense.

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"Para hindi mag-worry 'yung maliit naming player du'n sa malalaking depensahan nila. Help will come."

Isaac Go added 13 points and five rebounds and Gelo Alolino and Javi Gomez de Liano chipped in 10 points each while JP Calvo had six points, as many assists and matched Holt's five steals to obviously please Cardel even more.

The Portland-born Holt, who went 12-of-19 from the field, said he was simply trying to pick up from where he left off in his first conference after being made the No. 1 pick overall in the rookie draft.

"I just wanted to build off of my last game," said the 32-year-old. "I just went back straight to work. I stayed in Manila, I didn't go back to the United States. I didn't go on vacation. I was here in the gym, weights every single day until we started training.

"So for me, I've been a pro for 10 years, playing in high level leagues. The work is always gonna show. So I just gotta stay consistent in my role and know, whether the shots falls, I just gotta be a leader for this group."

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Alec Stockton and Justin Arana each scored 18 points while Sonny Winston tossed in 17 points and Bryan Santos 14 for Converge, which failed to snap out of a four-game slide that put it at 1-10 in the last conference.

The FiberXers did put up a gallant stand, fighting back from a 23-points second quarter deficit and a 52-76 hole in the third period to within six points three times inside the last two minutes of play.

Each time, however, Terrafirma had an answer through Tiongson and Alolino. (NC)

The Scores:

TERRAFIRMA 107 - Tiongson 30, Holt 27, Go 13, Gomez de Liano 10, Alolino 10, Sangalang 9, Calvo 6, Ramos 2, Cahilig 0, Camson 0, Mina 0.

CONVERGE 99 - Winston 18, Arana 18, Stockton 17, Santos 14, Fornilos 8, Ambohot 7, Melecio 5, Balanza 5, Zaldivar 3, Maagdenberg 2, Caralipio 2, Nieto 0, Delos Santos 0, Fleming 0.

QUARTERS: 27-21, 56-44, 86-75, 107-99.