Columbian stuns Phoenix to keep playoff fire burning

Delfin Dioquino
Columbian stuns Phoenix to keep playoff fire burning
The Dyip pull off crucial plays on both ends of the floor to prevent the Fuel Masters from claiming a third straight win

MANILA, Philippines – Columbian refused to give up its playoff hopes after pulling off a stunning 100-98 win over Phoenix in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, July 6.

Reden Celda and Glenn Khobuntin came up with crucial plays down the stretch while the trio of import Lester Prosper, CJ Perez and Rashawn McCarthy took charge anew as the Dyip improved to 3-7 to stay in the playoff hunt.

The Fuel Masters were on the verge of breaking a 98-98 deadlock with under 20 seconds left after import Richard Howell stole the ball, but RJ Jazul saw his fastbreak layup denied by a trailing Khobuntin. 

Celda took matters into his own hands after the block, racing back to offense and draining the go-ahead layup off the board with 9 seconds remaining. 

Phoenix had enough time to bury either a game-tying or game-winning shot only to witness Howell get trapped on the left corner and heave a shot that hit nothing but the board as the clock expired.

Prosper finished with 25 points, 21 rebounds, and 2 blocks, Rashawn McCarthy had 19 points, Perez chipped in 18 points and 2 steals, while Celda put up 17 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. 

Richard Howell carried the Fuel Masters on his back with 35 points, 23 rebounds, 7 steals, and 4 assists, but all of that went down the drain as his side failed to stretch its winning streak to 3 games and fell to 4-5. 

Matthew Wright chalked up 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Jazul had 12 points and 9 assists in the losing cause. 

The Scores

Columbian 100 – Prosper 25, McCarthy 19, Perez 18, Celda 17, Khobuntin 6, Reyes 5, Camson 4, Escoto 4, Cahilig 2, Faundo 0, Tabi 0.

Phoenix 98 – Howell 35, Wright 23, Jazul 12, Intal 8, Mallari 7, Perkins 7, Chua 6, Kramer 0, Marcelo 0, Napoles 0, Dennison 0.

Quarters: 22-27, 49-40, 73-71, 100-98.


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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.