April 22, 2024

PBA: Juami Tiongson says first All-Star inclusion 'unexpected,' looks at it as a 'beginning'

PBA: Juami Tiongson says first All-Star inclusion
Juami Tiongson fires 30 points in the Terrafirma Dyip's PBA Philippine Cup opening game triumph over the Converge FiberXers. Photo (c) PBA

Terrafirma main man Juami Tiongson showed a glimpse of what he could showcase on his first PBA All-Star appearance later this month.

Tiongson exploded for 30 points and added five rebounds, two assists and a steal in the Dyip's 107-99 opening game victory over Converge in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao on Friday, March 1.

Asked about his debut in the mid-season festivity set March 22 to 23 in Bacolod, Tiongson said that he was surprised with his inclusion and proceeded to thank his fans who voted for him.

Tiongson is part of Team Mark Barroca, which also includes seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Calvin Abueva and Jason Perkins. They will take on Christian Standhardinger, Scottie Thompson, Paul Lee, Calvin Oftana and the rest of Team Japeth Aguilar.

“Honestly, I did not expect it. I did not campaign for myself because I did not want to be disappointed,” said Tiongson post-match.

 “Salamat sa PBA fans, lalo sa mga Terrafirma fans na paulit-ulit na nag-vote sa akin,” he added.

Since he moved to the franchise in 2019, Tiongson has put in the work day in and day out to become the team’s franchise player.

Participating in the All-Star  one he hopes would not be the last  is a validation of sorts for the 12th overall pick in the 2014 Draft’s hardwork over the years.

“Sobrang nakaka-humble kasi galing ako sa wala, eh. Galing akong D-League tapos all of a sudden, All-Star na,” said Tiongson, who had a brief stint with AMA in the PBA D-League in 2016.

Still, Tiongson knows that he has his work cut out for him in his pro career as he looks at his All-Star appearance as a starting point for better things ahead.

“Everything is happening too fast for me pero sobrang grateful ako and contented ako sa nangyayari sa career ko. At the same time, there’s more work to be done. 'Yung All-Star, sana beginning pa lang 'yun para sa akin," he said.