Terrafirma pounced on a worn-out Alaska side, 105-89, to keep their playoff aspirations alive in the 2021 Honda PBA Philippine Cup, Sunday evening at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Dyip finished their elimination round campaign with a 4-7 record. Now, they hope that the other games’ results will favor them in the end.
Raring to reach the next round for the first time since 2016, the ball club formerly known as Kia has its fingers crossed that it could at least figure in a tie for a possible playoff for the eighth and final quarterfinal berth.
However, they would go on yet another early vacation should either or both Barangay Ginebra and the Aces get win no. 5 next week.
“We talked to them, ano gagawin. Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘I don’t want to end the eliminations with a loss,’ di ba? Do our best,” said head coach Johnedel Cardel. “Hopefully mabigyan kami ng chance for these playoffs.”
Rashawn McCarthy fired a game-high 19 points. Meanwhile, the troika of Aldrech Ramos, Juami Tiongson, and Roosevelt Adams all had 17 apiece.
Guards Reden Celda and Bonbon Batiller also made their presence felt in the conference-saving win 11 markers each.
“We just wanted to get this win kasi you never know, this game might be very crucial later down the road. Baka makapag-playoff pa kami,” Tiongson said.
The Dyip pulled away in the fourth quarter, with Adams and Batiller hitting a triple each to turn a four-point lead to 10, 85-75, with 10:39 to go.
The Aces, though, still tried to put up a fight despite running on fumes. They managed to slash the 14-point gap to just half, 88-95, following a Maverick Ahanmisi perimeter jumper with 2:52 left.
But then, Terrafirma was steadier, with Ramos, McCarthy, Joseph Gabayni, and Celda applying the final blows to take down their embattled opponents, who played their third game in three nights.
“They had three straight games, ang Alaska. So we have to take advantage of that. Nahirapan pa rin kami kay coach Jeffrey [Cariaso],” Cardel said.
Abu Tratter led Alaska with 18 points and nine rebounds in the defeat that dropped their card to 3-6.
The Milkmen have two games left to play before ending their eliminations, which will be against San Miguel Beer and NorthPort.
Terrafirma 105 — McCarthy 19, Adams 17, Tiongson 17, Ramos 17, Batiller 11, Celda 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Gabayni 3,Calvo 2, Laput 0, Alolino 0, Cahilig 0, Camson 0, Balagasay 0.
Alaska 89 – Tratter 18, Herndon 15, Ahanmisi 14, Casio 12, Brondial 12, Adamos 8, Teng 4, Digregorio 3, Banal 3, Ilagan 0, Browne 0, Ebona 0, Stockton 0, Marcelino 0, Publico 0.
Quarterscores: 24-21, 42-45, 79-75, 105-89