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Tiebreaker Times


Javi Gomez de Liano unfazed: Terrafirma ready to take on San Miguel

The odds may be stacked against them, but Terrafirma is ducking no one.

No matter how daunting the task ahead is going to be, Javi Gomez de Liaño and the rest of the Dyip are ready for battle against the twice-to-beat San Miguel in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

“San Miguel sila, but we’re not intimidated,” he said after their 104-96 win over NorthPort in the playoff for no. 8 Wednesday.

“I think we just have to do our part. Definitely, we have to bring out our best game playing San Miguel.”

The sophomore’s confidence stems from their previous encounter against the Beermen last April 10 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Terrafirma did lose, but only three points separated the crew from the powerhouse, 113-110.

That game saw the crew take a 103-102 lead inside the final minutes, seemingly en route to catch another big fish after Ginebra. But June Mar Fajardo and Mo Tautua’a prevented them from pulling off an upset.

Tautua’a himself emerged as the hero for SMB with 24 points – 17 of which he made in the fourth quarter alone. And he even toppled counterpart Isaac Go as the two bigs had the unlikeliest of shootouts in the endgame.

Getting so close to taking down one of the league’s giants surely makes Gomez de Liaño and Co. excited for their upcoming rematch with San Miguel, who’s coming into the quarters as the no. 1 seed with a 10-1 record.

“I think it’s going to be a good series,” he said.

“You guys know, we only lost by three points ata noong previous game. Actually, we were leading, sa dulo lang kami nag-collapse. We just need to watch film again and review what we could do better in terms of playing San Miguel.

The UP product himself showed how ready he is for the big game ahead in their knockout match against the Batang Pier. There, he poured 21 points, including 10 in the final period, and also hauled down seven rebounds.

#ReadMore  PBA: June Mar Fajardo delivers in return as San Miguel dumps Blackwater to seal twice-to-beat

“I’m coming from a two-game slump. I’ve been shooting bad, in terms of my three-point percentages. I really told myself that my team needs me. Kailangan ko bumawi talaga this game,” said the 25-year-old, who fired 3-of-7 from deep.

That performance, he said, was fueled mainly by his desire to help the Dyip grab the rare opportunity of reaching the quarterfinal, which the franchise hasn’t done since booking its first-ever playoff trip in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

“Really glad to be helping out the team. Ever since I started training with Terrafirma, it’s always been a personal goal to help Terrafirma make it to the playoffs and get the respect from the league, from the fans,” he said.

“Because of a 16-conference streak of not making the playoffs, I think this is just bound to happen, with the players coming in. Perfect puzzle ba. With coach John leading us, this is definitely, like I saw this coming way before.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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