PBA 3x3: TerraFirma ousts top-seeded Meralco, clinches semis berth

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2021 05:58 PM

Dhon Reverente led the way for TerraFirma in their big upset of the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals of the PBA 3x3 Lakas ng Tatlo Grand Finals. PBA Media Bureau
Dhon Reverente led the way for TerraFirma in their big upset of the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals of the PBA 3x3 Lakas ng Tatlo Grand Finals. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- TerraFirma 3x3 pulled off a big upset in the very first quarterfinal game of the PBA 3x3 Lakas ng Tatlo Grand Finals, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Dyip shocked top-seeded Meralco, 19-15, to barge into the knockout semifinals of the tournament where a top prize of P750,000 is at stake.

The Bolts entered the Grand Finals as the No. 1 seed after compiling 420 points over six legs, including the championship in the second leg and a pair of runner-up finishes.

But they got off to a slow start against TerraFirma, as the Dyip opened up an early 5-1 lead thanks to Matt Salem.

Dexter Maiquez helped Meralco get back in the game but shots from Dhon Reverente helped TerraFirma stay in control. However, fouls became an issue for both teams late, and Meralco had a chance to tie the count at 16 when Reverente fouled Alfred Batino with 12 seconds left.

Unfortunately for Meralco, Batino missed the first before making his second free throw for a 16-15 count. Forced to foul, the Bolts sent Salem to the line where he also made one of two shots, keeping the door open for Meralco with seven seconds to go.

The Bolts faltered, however, as Maiquez turned the ball over on the sideline with a second to go, ending their hopes of a comeback.

The other seeded teams took care of business against their respective opponents, also on Wednesday.

No. 4 seed Platinum Karaoke outlasted Pioneer Pro Tibay, 21-15, behind the hot shooting of Chris de Chavez who put up 11 points.

The Limitless Appmasters, meanwhile, defeated the San Miguel Beermen, 21-15. The third-seeded Appmasters got nine points from Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, and survived a 10-point effort from Jeff Manday who brought SMB back into the contest after a slow start.

In a testy battle, the TNT Tropang GIGA outlasted the Purefoods TJ Titans, 18-13, to secure the final semifinal seat.

TNT raced to a 7-0 start before Joseph Eriobu rallied the TJ Titans back in the contest. Purefoods knotted the count at 8-all, but the Tropang GIGA regained control thanks to crucial two-point field goals by Chris Javier.

It will be TerraFirma against Platinum Karaoke in the semifinals, while Limitless will play the Tropang GIGA later this evening.