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Terrafirma pounces on tired Alaska to stay in playoff race

Terrafirma kept its playoff hopes in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup alive after beating Alaska, 105-89, Sunday evening at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Banking on a balanced effort with four different players scoring at least 17 points, the Dyip pulled away in the fourth quarter, turning a four-point advantage at the start of the period into a 14-point spread, 92-78, several minutes later.

Alaska refused to go down without a fight though, as they sliced the lead in half to 88-95 with 2:50 remaining in the game. However, Aldrech Ramos hit a big three in the ensuing possession to hike Terrafirma's lead back to double digits, 98-88, and they never looked back en route to a 4-7 standing.

Rashawn McCarthy was at the driver's seat with 19 points, while Juami Tiongson, Roosevelt Adams, and Ramos all added 17 markers apiece.

"I told them, 'I don't want to end the eliminations with a loss. Let's do our best.' [Alaska] had three straight games, so we have to take advantage of that," said Dyip head coach John Cardel, referring to the fact that the Aces have been in action for three game days in a row.

"We had a difficult time because of [Alaska] coach Jeffrey [Cariaso]. Hopefully, we are still given a chance for these playoffs, depending on the win or loss record of our opponents," he added.

Terrafirma now awaits the remainder of the games in order to determine whether or not they make the playoffs - presently, they are jostling with Alaska, Phoenix, and Ginebra, for a place in the next round. Only the Blackwater Bossing (0-11) have been outright eliminated in the tournament.

Alaska's playoff hopes are also alive, albeit getting slimmer, as it now holds a 3-6 record with two games remaining. Abu Tratter contributed 18 markers and hauled in nine rebounds in the loss.

THE SCORES

TERRAFIRMA (105) -- McCarthy 19, Tiongson 17, Ramos 17, Adams 17, Batiller 11, Celda 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Gabayni 3, Calvo 2 Laput 0, Camson 0.

ALASKA (89) -- Tratter 18, Herndon 15, Ahanmisi 14, Brondial 12, Casio 12, Adamos 8, Teng 4, Digregorio 3, Banal 3, Ilagan 0, Ebona 0, Marcelino 0.

Quarter Scores: 24-21, 42-45, 79-75, 105-89.

EXTRA DRIBBLES

- Terrafirma scored 17 fastbreak points to Alaska's none.

- The Dyip also carved up the interior, scoring 40 points on 64.5% shooting.

- A frenetic contest, the game featured 11 lead changes and 6 deadlocks.

NEXT GAMES

- Terrafirma has finished its elimination round.

- Alaska will have San Miguel and NorthPort in its final two assignments later this week. Schedule to be determined.