Terrafirma continued to showcase its growing character as they held off a relentless fourth-quarter comeback by the Meralco Bolts to secure a 107-102 victory in the PBA On Tour game held Sunday, June 18, at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Eric Camson emerged as the hero for Terrafirma, delivering an outstanding performance in the second half. He finished the game with 30 points, while Isaac Go and JP Calvo provided crucial support down the stretch. The win marked Terrafirma’s second consecutive victory in the preseason series presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.
As a veteran presence on the team, the 33-year-old Camson acknowledged his responsibility as a role model for the younger players. He came off the bench and displayed efficiency by shooting an impressive 12-of-16 from the field. Camson also contributed nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
While Camson’s explosive performance would have been a career-high during the regular season, it was particularly timely as their top scorer, Juami Tiongson, was limited to 21 points. Just two days prior, Tiongson had recorded a tournament-high 37 points.
“I wasn’t really looking for my scoring because Juami is our main gunner. So, thank God I had the opportunity and I was able to deliver,” Camson said in a PBA report. He scored 16 consecutive points in the third quarter, propelling Terrafirma to an 84-73 advantage.
The victory followed a more comfortable 110-96 win over NLEX, bringing Terrafirma’s preseason record to an even 3-3. Camson revealed that the team had collectively decided to aim for back-to-back wins, a feat they had not achieved since their three-game winning streak in the 2021 Philippine Cup.
Before stepping onto the court, Camson shared, “Before we entered the court, we said, ‘Guys, can we try to get back-to-back wins?’ So I guess we just had more hunger than them today.”
Meralco, on the other hand, had been seeking their third consecutive win. They displayed their resilience as they rallied behind Cliff Hodge, overcoming a 77-89 deficit to take a brief 93-90 lead. However, timely contributions from Tiongson, Go, and Camson allowed Terrafirma to regain control and secure a 101-95 advantage.
Bong Quinto’s three-pointer and Hodge’s putback kept Meralco within striking distance at 100-103. However, Camson’s basket and Calvo’s drive effectively sealed the victory for Terrafirma, leaving just 32 seconds on the clock.
Allein Maliksi top-scored for Meralco with 33, while Hodge finished with 24 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Hodge’s impressive performance came in the fourth quarter, where he scored 14 of his total points.
Terrafirma’s win demonstrated their determination and resilience in the face of a tough opponent. As they continue to build their character, the team is gaining confidence and aiming to achieve further success in future competitions.
Terrafirma 107 – Camson 30, Tiongson 21, Calvo 12, Go 11, Gomez De Liano 9, Alolino 8, Ramos 6, Cahilig 4, Mina 4, Taladua 2, Alanes 0, Grospe 0.
Meralco 102 – Maliksi 33, Hodge 21, Quinto 16, Dario 8, Torres 8, Caram 7, Pasaol 4, Rios 4, Johnson 0, Almazan 0.
Quarterscores: 23-23; 51-55; 81-73; 107-102.