Alex Cabagnot had to make sure that Terrafirma’s dry spell really ended on Friday.
“How many were ours? 25?” Shortly after Dyip’s 124-114 overtime win over the NLEX in the PBA Stewards’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, a couple asked reporters.
“How about Blackwater? 29?” She asked.
Probably a reflection of how bad the past few months have been for Dyip, they had to celebrate being second on the enviable list of most consecutive losses. Terrafirma will be four games better than record holder Blackwater, as Cabagnot learned Friday night.
But the relief within the team was palpable. Coach Johnedel Cardel and importer Lester Prosper couldn’t help but celebrate as they headed to the post-match presser while parked at the bottom of the standings with their Dyip 1-9 (win-lose) card.
“The curse is finally broken,” said the soft-spoken Cardel.
“All this is foreign to me,” Prosper added of the collapse. The naturalized Indonesian shouldered a lot of weight for Terrafirma and finished with 19 rebounds and 5 assists, a PBA career-best 50 points. Prosper also had seven of Terrafirma’s total points in overtime, where Dyip beat the Road Warriors 14-4.
For Terrafirma, Juami Tiongson had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, while Eric Camson had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists.
It was a night full of milestones, with Barangay Ginebra recording a few smileys in game two.
Tim Cone has scored his 1,000th career victory after the Gin Kings beat Bossing 98-84, and the two-time Grand Slam coach is looking to add to that as soon as possible.
“We hope to have 1,001 against TNT on Sunday. We’re going to enjoy this for a few minutes and then we’ll move on,” Cone said.
Justin Brownlee hit 300 steals after scoring four on Friday night to continue with 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson, who had just come out of a successful fight with the national team, had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for Ginebra, who raised his record to 6-2.
Prosper was upset that Terrafirma’s win came too late, but was still happy with the way the team came together.
“I’m glad we finally finished[the slide],” Prosper told the Inquirer. “We had to come out of the fear. I’m happy that we came together, we had the chemistry and we fought for this win.”
Terrafirma will now attempt to build a winning streak as they play powerhouse San Miguel Beer and then Phoenix for their final mission in the mid-season showdown.
“Well, we just have to play this way – playing together. And of course me. I just have to be aggressive,” he said.
NLEX bought the goods from reinforcement Earl Clark, who had 45 points. Don Trollano lost with 26 points, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser with 22 points and Kris Rosales with 12 points. Interestingly, the loss left the Road Warriors (3-7) currently the longest active losing streak in the league.
NLEX has lost their last five games, considering what the team’s tormentors just went through. But that skid undermined the Road Warriors’ strong start and put new coach Frankie Lim on a must-win path towards the team’s final two assignments.
The Road Warriors battle Barangay Ginebra before completing their campaign against Meralco.
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