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Returning Celda comes up clutch for win-hungry Columbian

Delfin Dioquino
Returning Celda comes up clutch for win-hungry Columbian
Reden Celda comes back from a hip injury and delivers the game-winner as the Dyip remain in the playoff hunt

MANILA, Philippines – Just in the nick of time.

Reden Celda came back from a hip injury and delivered for a Columbian side desperate for a victory by knocking down the game-winner in a 100-98 triumph over Phoenix in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday, July 6.

Picking up a defensive rebound off a block by teammate Glenn Khobuntin, Celda drained the killer blow by banking a floater off the glass for the go-ahead bucket. 

He finished with 17 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds off the bench – an impressive return after being sidelined for two games when he hurt his hip during an out-of-town loss to Rain or Shine on June 23. 

The result, though, would have been different had Celda followed coach Johnedel Cardel’s plea to call a timeout instead of pushing through with his fastbreak play.

“Coach was asking for a timeout but I didn’t see him. I saw that the lane was open. I didn’t know what will happen if I missed. We got the win, though, so that’s what’s important,” Celda said in Filipino. 

“I didn’t see them because there were guards behind me trying to steal the ball. When I looked back, I was already open at the free throw line so I just shot the teardrop. It went in. I’m happy.” 

The win propelled the Dyip to a 3-7 slate – a record enough for the team to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

While the chances are slim, Celda said Columbian will pull out all the stops against defending champion Barangay Ginebra in its final elimination round game at the Araneta Coliseum on July 14. 

“We just need to win our last to gain momentum for the next conference. We don’t know if we’re still in the running for the playoffs but coach said we should still respect the game even if it has no bearing,” Celda said.


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.