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Sports

Dyip pump life on last 8 bid

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Dyip pump life on last 8 bid
Terrafirma ace rookie Stephen Holt takes a shot versus NorthPort’s Cade flores and William Navarro in their game last night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — To reignite its PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals aspirations, Terrafirma needed to pull off something it hasn’t done since 2019 – beat NorthPort.

And everyone in John Cardel’s team responded.

Banking on Stephen Holt’s go-ahead layup and a game-saving defensive stop in the last 3.1 seconds, the Dyip eked out a pivotal 110-108 victory over the Batang Pier yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

By ending a seven-game losing skid against NorthPort over the last four years, Terrafirma hiked its record to 5-5 and a tie for fifth and sixth with idle Rain or Shine.

The Batang Pier skidded to their fifth consecutive defeat, their playoffs hopes in jeopardy at 4-6.

“Effort lang talaga ng mga players. They want to improve our standings and give us a chance to get into the quarterfinals,” said Cardel, who drew strong performances from Stephen Holt (22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals), Juami Tiongson (21), Louie Sangalang (19), Kemark Carino (11 rebounds, nine points), Javi Gomez de Liano (14) and Isaac Go (10).

The Dyip got the better of the Batang Pier for the first time since a 114-108 verdict in the 2019 Governors’ Cup elims. Consequently, they gave Cardel his most wins in a conference with five so far.

More important was the lifeline it gave Terrafirma’s drive to the Last-8, after losses in their last two assignments stalled their bid. The Dyip try to catch a big fish in their final assignment against Magnolia on May 3 and hope to make it to the next round trouble-free.

The Dyip appeared ready to blow the Batang Pier out when they seized a 100-89 cushion going to the last six minutes. But a major uprising spearheaded by Allyn Bulanadi and Arvin Tolentino enabled NP to catch up at 108-all with 24.6 ticks left.

Then Holt got away from three defenders to send Terrafirma back on top.

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STEPHEN HOLT

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