Javi Gomez de Liano takes scoring cudgels for Terrafirma in stunner over NLEX
MANILA, Philippines -- With the NLEX Road Warriors’ defense concentrating on Terrafirma star guard Juami Tiongson in their PBA Commissioner's Cup clash Saturday, there was the need for another Dyip gunner to step up.
Following 21 and 25 point games against the NorthPort Batang Pier and the Blackwater Bossing, respectively, Tiongson is understandably the focus of the Road Warriors’ defense.
And, Javi Gomez de Liano answered the call.
Gomez de Liano uncorked his best game of his young career so far, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds and two assists off the bench as the Dyip squeaked past the Road Warriors, 113-112, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
He shot 10-of-15 from the field as he sank four of his eight 3-pointers.
Asked what sparked his play Saturday, Gomez de Liano said he just needed to step up.
“To be honest, nothing special [sparked my play]. Before the game, I knew they would be checking Juami because he’s been playing well the past two games,” he told reporters after the game.
“So, in the first and second quarters, I saw that he was being checked. So, it’s all about stepping up,” he added.
The former UP Fighting Maroon’s previous career-high is 19.
According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, Gomez de Liano is only the seventh local player in the Terrafirma franchise history to record a 30-point game.
“[Tiongson] cannot make his shots, so I gotta make sure to step up,” the forward said.
“I gotta make sure I deliver every time I step on the court,” he added.
While Gomez de Liano’s scoring outburst led the team, heroes were plenty for the Dyip’s narrow victory.
Rookie Stephen Holt had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Isaac Go also had 17 big points for the Dyip.
And, of course, Aldrech Ramos had the game-winner via a putback with mere seconds remaining in the game.
Terrafirma is now holding a 2-1 win-loss record.
The Dyip will try to record their third win against the TNT Tropang Giga on Wednesday, November 22, at the same venue.