Tiongson sparks Terrafirma’s giant-slaying run, wins weekly PBA player plum
MANILA, Philippines – Just when Terrafirma was in desperate search for a spark after a flat start in the PBA Philippine Cup, Juami Tiongson readily stepped up to the plate and personally took matters into his own hands in leading the team’s rejuvenated drive in the Bacolor bubble.
Tiongson put on a string of career-best performances in the league return from a month-long hiatus and helped the Dyip turned their fortunes around with three straight victories including gigantic upsets against former five-time titlist San Miguel Beer and reigning champion Barangay Ginebra.
In the three Terrafirma wins, the 5-foot-10 guard averaged 23.0 points spiked by 15 triples behind a high 50% clip, along with 5.3 assists, 3.0. rebounds and 2.0 steals, to earn himself the Cignal Play — PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period September 1-5.
With prized rookie Joshua Munzon out for the conference due to a dislocated finger, the no-fear Tiongson took over and hit a career-high 28 points and seven assists in the team’s 114-110 overtime escape act against SMB.
Tiongson won’t cool down two days later as he reset his career-best at 31 markers, spiked by nine triples, six assists, and three steals as the Dyip caught another giant in the defending champion Kings, 95-90.
He was then limited to a 10-3-3- outing the next game, but still enough for Terrafirma to pull off a 96-84 comeback win over Blackwater, for its third straight victory and improve to 3-4 overall for solo seventh place.
But Tiongson refused to take all the credit, deflecting everything to coach Johnedel Cardel and his teammates for giving him the greenlight to let it fly.
“Coach John and the coaching staff put in new plays to help the shooters get free. Pinapabayaan niya lang ako. He lets me make mistakes and be creative,” he said.
“I just had to do what we had to do. It would not be possible without them (coaches and my teammates).”
Tiongson bested TNT Fil-Am rookie Mikey Williams and RR Pogoy, NLEX’s Jericho Cruz, JR Quinahan, and Kevin Alas as well as teammate Aldrech Ramos for the weekly citation being handed out by the group covering the PBA beat.
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