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Juami Tiongson Leads Terrafirma to First Victory Over Blackwater in PBA

ANTIPOLO—Juami Tiongson scored 25 points while getting a lot of support as Terrafirma topped Blackwater, 97-87, Wednesday for its first victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Ynares Center here.

Tiongson’s offensive spark in the first half proved to be among the keys in the Dyip putting themselves in the win column after dropping their initial assignment to the NorthPort Batang Pier five days earlier.

Terrafirma built a double-digit lead late in the second before thwarting attempts by Blackwater to stage a rally in the second half, avoiding a similar collapse it encountered the last time.

“What happened against NorthPort was a learning lesson,” said coach Johnedel Cardel. “That’s why I reminded them at halftime when we had a 10-point lead to sustain what we did in the first half which is playing defense and getting the rebounds.”

Two ex-Japan B.League standouts also delivered for coach Johnedel Cardel as sophomore Javi Gomez de Liano posted 17 points and five rebounds while rookie Kemark Carino registered 10 points and nine rebounds for Terrafirma.

Top overall pick Stephen Holt struggled offensively with seven points on 2-o-6 shooting, but he had six rebounds and four assists for the Dyip.

Blackwater dropped its second straight to go 1-2 three games into the tenure of new coach Jeffrey Cariaso.

Mike Ayonayon scored a team-high 16 points and got Blackwater within three at one point in the second half before Terrafirma pulled away yet again.

The scores:

TERRAFIRMA 97—Tiongson 25, Gomez de Liano 17, De Thaey 15, Carino 10, Camson 7, Holt 7, Ramos 4, Cahilig 3, Alolino 3, Calvo 3, Daquioag 3, Olivario 0, Go 0, Miller 0, Mina 0.

BLACKWATER 87—Ayonayon 16, Ortiz 15, Suerte 13, DiGregorio 11, Rosario 10, Casio 6, David 5, McCarthy 4, Hill 3, Guinto 2, Ular 2, Escoto 0, Banal 0.

Quarters: 24-22, 50-40, 69-64, 97-87.