With the entire PBA family coming off a long layoff, Terrafirma Dyip knew that everyone would be basically starting from scratch inside to restart the 2020 Philippine Cup. They put in the work before the competitions started with the hopes of qualifying to the playoffs.
With CJ Perez as the foundation of the team and an interesting rookie in Roosevelt Adams running alongside him, the Dyip had enough reasons to be optimistic about their campaign.
Unfortunately for Terrafirma, they had a tough schedule at the start as they lost to TNT, Rain or Shine, and San Miguel Beer. When they suffered a loss to NorthPort Batang Pier, a team also looking for their first win at that point, it started to feel like a playoff spot might be too high a target for them.
They gave themselves a great shot to upset Alaska but fell short, and then they were blown out by Phoenix Super LPG and the Magnolia Hotshots. The only win they recorded was a 110-101 decision against the Blackwater Elite as they finished 1-10 for the 12th spot.
The Dyip exited the PBA bubble Friday before dawn as they had to stay an extra day because of the devastation caused by Typhoon Ulysses.
"It was difficult and challenging because no one knew what to expect. It was worth the sacrifice from everyone because we were able to push through with the league and entertain the fans," said Terrafirma head coach John Cardel about the PBA Bubble.
"The team bonded well and it was nice to hang out with my teammates from way back. We get to see each other and relive the good old days. I think that was what Commissioner Willie Marcial also wanted to happen. He wanted to make the PBA family stronger."
Although they got eliminated early, Cardel said that he was still very happy to be part of history.
Another member of the Dyip who enjoyed the experience was their rookie Adams. He had an up-and-down conference but still managed to put up averages of 10.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. Adams shot an impressive 37% from the three-point range, which is just a glimpse of what he can do for the team moving forward.
"There was a lot of bonding. It was a great experience and I'm glad to be a part of it," said the rookie. "I'm kind of disappointed because I know I could have done better but I'm glad the PBA gave us the opportunity to play. I hope to learn from this experience."
Adams' teammates Juami Tiongson took it a step further as he sought out some of the players he looked up to and picked their brain.
"It was a good experience. At were there were anxieties because no one knew that to expect but the PBA took care of everyone and our managers took care of us as well. I'll miss the camaraderie. We don't know when the next competition will be," said Tiongson who stepped up during the back-end of Terrafirma's schedule.
"Talking to my idols, Paul (Lee), Jayson (Castro), and LA (Tenorio) and ask questions, it's great for my career."
For the fourth straight season, Terrafirma will once again have the first overall pick the the PBA Rookie Draft. Two years ago, they traded away the first pick, which turned out to be Christian Standhardinger but got two great talents in Perez and Adams in the following draft.
Under the current situation, there's still no clarity on how the next PBA Draft would look like although it's almost certain that the PBA D-League requirement will be waived. This means Terrafirma should be ready to put in the work as soon as possible as a great talents might just come from out of nowhere to land with them.