Two-win run has Dyip thinking playoffs
ANTIPOLO—After posting the best scoring game of his young Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) career, Javi Gomez de Liano believes that getting a playoff spot is attainable for Terrafirma.
“We want to change the narrative of the team,” Gomez de Liano said after the Dyip’s narrow 113-112 win over the NLEX Road Warriors at Ynares Center here on Saturday gave them a 2-1 (win-loss) record in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“I believe that we can make the playoffs, but we have to take it one game at a time,” added the former University of the Philippines standout, who early in the conference has shown signs of raising his game further after a one-and-done stint in Japan and dealing with an adjustment period as a rookie last season.
Gomez de Liano finished with 31 points while top overall pick Stephen Holt produced his best shooting performance on the way to 21 points as Terrafirma won back-to-back matches for the first time since winning three straight in Bacolor, Pampanga, when the 2021 Philippine Cup was in a semi-bubble setup due to the pandemic.
The Dyip won on Aldrech Ramos’ putback with 3.7 seconds left that broke a 111-all tie. Road Warriors import Thomas Robinson missed his second free throw before the horn, leaving Terrafirma looking forward to a Wednesday clash with TNT on Wednesday.
“It shows the work ethic of the players,” said Dyip coach Johnedel Cardel. “They really wanted to win this game going into the big game against TNT.”
An upset over TNT would be huge for a team that has made the playoffs only once in franchise history. Terrafirma had just 10 wins out of the last 57 games, a stretch of six conferences.
NLEX fell to 1-2 even as star Kevin Alas hurt his left knee during the second quarter. The Road Warriors are waiting for the MRI results, but coach Frankie Lim said their medical team suspects an ACL tear.