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Javi Gomez de Liano’s 31 points power Terrafirma to 113-112 win against NLEX

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EXPLOSIVE NIGHT. Javi Gomez de Liano hits a career-high 31 points in Terrafirma’s narrow 113-112 victory against the NLEX in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on November 18, 2023

Javi Gomez de Liano showcased a stellar performance, tallying a career-high 31 points, to lead Terrafirma to a thrilling 113-112 victory over NLEX in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Terrafirma faced adversity early on, with top scorer Juami Tiongson being limited to 14 points, well below his average. However, the team rallied together, and contributions from Thomas de Thaey, Stephen Holt, Isaac Go, and Aldrech Ramos played a crucial role in securing the second consecutive win for the Dyip, bringing their record to 2-1.

Before exiting the game due to a suspected groin injury, De Thaey displayed an impressive performance with 23 points and 16 rebounds. Holt, having his best game in his young PBA career, added 21 points to the tally. Go contributed significantly with a personal conference-best 17 points, hitting 4-of-7 three-pointers.

Javi Gomez de Liano expressed the team’s determination to change their narrative and highlighted the collective effort to secure the victory, stating, “We’re like a brand-new team na rin with new players, and this time around we just wanted to change the narrative of our team.”

Terrafirma coach Johnedel Cardel acknowledged the challenge posed by NLEX, a strong lineup with a formidable import. Cardel credited his team’s luck for the win, especially after NLEX import Thomas Robinson missed a potentially game-tying free throw in the final 1.3 seconds.

“Sinuwerte kami, na-miss ‘yung huli,” commented Cardel. “Credit to NLEX dahil malakas talaga iyung lineup nila. They have a good strong import, and we’re just lucky we got this win.”

Despite Robinson’s outstanding performance with 40 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, NLEX couldn’t secure the victory. The Road Warriors fought back from a 93-103 deficit, even tying the game at 111-all with 1:08 left. However, Ramos’ putback off a Holt missed drive put Terrafirma ahead again.

In the closing moments, the threat of overtime loomed large as Robinson got fouled on a reverse attempt. Unfortunately for NLEX, Robinson made the first free throw but missed the second, allowing Terrafirma to secure the crucial rebound and seal the victory.

The loss also came with a potential cost for NLEX as Kevin Alas, a key contributor in their previous win over San Miguel Beer, left the game with a suspected knee injury.

The defeat disrupted NLEX’s attempt to secure back-to-back wins, bringing their record to 1-2 in the Commissioner’s Cup. Terrafirma, on the other hand, looks ahead to a challenging matchup against TNT on November 22, aiming to build on their newfound momentum.

The boxscores:

Terrafirma113 – Gomez de Liano 31, De Thaey 23, Holt 21, Go 17, Tiongson 14, Ramos 4, Carino 3, Camson 0, Daquioag 0, Olivario 0, Alolino 0, Cahilig 0.

NLEX 112 – Robinson 40, Trollano 19, Rosales 13, Anthony 10, Miranda 10, Rodger 8, Herndon 7, Nieto 3, Semerad 2, Marcelo 0, Alas 0.

Quarters: 22-31, 51-53, 81-79, 113-112

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