Terrafirma, owner of second longest PBA slump, hopes to end its spiral
All we need is one win to just stop the bleeding,” Prosper said.
Friday might be the best chance to do just that. Interestingly enough, Terrafirma will try to end its slump against Blackwater.
When the Dyip battled the Bossing in last season’s Governors’ Cup, they were hoping to add to the misery of a franchise that was in the latter stages of a record PBA spiral.
That was two days before Valentine’s Day and Terrafirma showed little love in coming from 12 points down in the fourth quarter to hammer out Blackwater’s 25th straight loss.
The Bossing would eventually set the standard for a slump at 29.
On Friday, they have the chance to return the favor.
Until the current Commissioner’s Cup, the thing that had Blackwater red-faced the most about its historic skid was the fact that No. 2 on the notorious list is Presto, whose 18-loss slide was polished a bit by its distance from No. 1.
But Terrafirma has leapfrogged the defunct franchise and given Blackwater a chance to narrow the gap between itself and the second placer.
Not that it has been a concern of Bossing coach Ariel Vanguardia, who is just looking for a quick rebound from a loss to NorthPort on Wednesday.
“We can still do what we want to happen as long as we don’t lose back-to-back games. We just have to sustain our aggressiveness and convert those big shots,” Vanguardia said.
Prosper, meanwhile, said the Dyip have already, well, prospered somehow and merely need to build on their growth.
“If you look at the last conference, they were not fighting like this,” said Prosper of the team, which hasn’t won since pinning loss No. 25 on Blackwater. “Now, they’re coming and you can see some sort of electricity, some spark and that is what I’m proud of.”
“We have to play with more energy and we have to make better decisions,” Prosper said. “If we continue to do this, if we continue to improve, we can definitely get one win.”
Despite being at 0-4 to begin the midseason tournament, Terrafirma has given itself several chances to win, only to falter during the fourth quarter in losses to Converge, Magnolia, Rain or Shine and Meralco.
Prosper has accounted for the bulk of the Dyip’s production with averages of 34.8 points, 19.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, but will need the help of the locals in order to drive their skid to a halt.
A loss to Blackwater will turn things even bleaker for Terrafirma: The team’s next three opponents are powerhouses Bay Area, Barangay Ginebra and TNT.
Meanwhile, Ginebra coach Tim Cone could not help but express admiration for the Ateneo program that produced the likes of Phoenix rookie Tyler Tio.
“Amazing how good Ateneo is. Their backups come into the PBA as superstars,” the Gin Kings mentor said.
Cone expects Tio, recently named Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps, to create trouble for Ginebra when both teams clash in the other Friday match at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tio has been the bright spot in Phoenix’s sluggish start with 16.5 points and helped Phoenix snap a 0-3 start with a 111-97 victory over NLEX recently.
Ginebra is gunning for a third victory in four outings, its morale on a high after dealing visiting Bay Area a first defeat with a 111-93 rout last Sunday.