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    Cardel gamble of not starting in-form Juami Tiongson pays off

    Sep 5, 2021
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    AWARE that Juami Tiongson will be a marked man against Blackwater, Johnedel Cardel decided to tweak Terrafirma’s starting unit.

    It may have backfired initially, but it also proved the Dyip are more than just a ‘Magic Tiongson’ team.

    With the 30-year-old guard the focus of the Bossing’s defense, the Dyip went to Reden Celda for the needed spark and the fifth-year guard delivered as the team won a third straight time in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State College gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

    Celda, 29, led the team’s fourth-quarter breakaway after being held to a 65-standoff by the Bossing for three periods as Tiongson, hero of Terrafirma’s upsets of San Miguel Beer and defending champion Barangay Ginebra, struggled with his shooting.

    Celda finished with 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range while taking the place of Tiongson in the Dyip’s starting unit. He also had six rebounds and four assists.

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    Cardel explained the reason behind Tiongson coming off the bench despite his scintillating career-games against the Beermen and the Kings where he reset his career-high in points twice to average 29.5 in two games.

    “Si Juami marked na siya and they will try to stop him. They’re (Bossing) actually successful in stopping Juami,” said the Dyip coach.

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    “But I know the other guys, may ilalaro pa sila like Red Celda now, who’s the Best Player and malaking bagay. And some other players naman nandiyan lang yan.

    “I told them, 'We have to be a team. Tulungan natin, try to help Juami get open, but hindi Juami will get the ball and he will be the one to decoy.'”

    Celda was the one who benefited from the move, but the other Dyip came up big as well.

    There was Aldrech Ramos, a steady presence in extending the defense as he finished with a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds, while another big in Andreas Cahilig hustled his way for a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

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    Tiongson managed to finish in double figures with 10 points, but was 3-of-11 from the field.

    Rashawn McCarthy equaled Tiongson’s output at 10, while lengthy Matt Ganuelas-Rossed added nine.

    The collective effort had the Dyip winning their third straight win for a 3-4 record and solo seventh spot in the standings.

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    PHOTO: PBA Images
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