Juami Tiongson shines to help Terrafirma avoid vacation

Juami Tiongson PBA Philippine Cup

Terrafirma Dyip’s Juami Tiongson during a PBA Philippine Cup game

MANILA, Philippines—Juami Tiongson played his first-ever knockout game in the PBA for Terrafirma on Wednesday for a slot in the Philippine Cup playoffs and he grabbed it by the throat.

In the Dyip’s 106-94 win over Northport at Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Tiongson was under the bright lights and the heavy pressure of pushing Terrafirma to its first quarterfinals appearance after a 16-conference drought.

It was safe to say that Tiongson had himself a game considering that usually at point in a conference, the Dyip swingmen are already on vacation.

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

“I just wanted to be able to play basketball. Usually at this point, we’re already in Boracay for vacation,” said Tiongson in jest.

“Just to be able to have the chance and opportunity to play in a knockout game [was nice.] When I found out that there’ll be a knockout game, I got excited honestly because it feels like the UAAP.”

Tiongson went on his usual scoring exhibition for the Dyip and scored a game-high 30-piece with five rebounds and three assists to match.

His explosion against the Batang Pier was absolutely no isolated case as he powered Terrafirma to the playoffs with norms of 21.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

READ: PBA: Terrafirma books first quarterfinals berth since 2016

While his scoring prowess was on full display on Wednesday, Stephen Holt was also of big help from Dyip and Tiongson certainly took notice.

With 45 minutes of action under his belt, Holt flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, much to the delight of Tiongson.

“The fact that we made the playoffs shows his big impact. He’s one of our leaders, one of our go-to guys. Even I defer to him because I have high confidence in him in terms of his decision and play making.”

It all may seem rosy and dandy for Terrafirma but that’ll all change in 72 hours when they buckle up against a twice-to-beat advantage-equipped San Miguel.

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Well, that’s all the more reason for Tiongson to keep his and the whole team’s focus on the conference in check.

“I told them not to be overconfident. Just because we made the playoffs means the job is done. There are still games to be played and who knows, right?”