Columbian have already bowed out from playoff contention in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup even before their final elimination round game Sunday night, but that did not stop the Dyip from playing to the best of their abilities.
Up against super import Justin Brownlee and defending champions Barangay Ginebra, the young yet gutsy Columbian proved once again that they could keep up among the league’s best, as they made it a tough night for the Gin Kings.
Sadly, the Dyip lost steam in overtime, 123-127. But rookie CJ Perez wasn’t as downcast as one thought he would be.
“Para sa’min, kahit na no bearing yun, bibigay pa rin namin yung best namin,” said Perez, who had 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. “Hindi lang naman para sa team yung ginagawa namin, para rin sa fans na nanunuod.
“Tsaka, syempre, kailangan naming bigyan ng magandang laban yung Ginebra.”
Columbian finished the tilt with a 3-8 win-loss record. But the way they played especially in their last five games made it seem as if they were not carrying such card — all those games went down the wire, and three of it went overtime.
And for Perez, he believes that the upstart Dyip has gained some respect from the rest of the league.
“Yung mga last na nilaro namin dikit.
“And yun lang naman yung gusto naming mangyari kahit hindi kami nananalo — makuha namin yung respect ng ibang team, na paghahandaan nila kami,” said the celebrated Lyceum product.
But gaining respect from others is not enough for Columbian. For Perez, the Dyip’s sights should now be set on bigger goals, and one of them is being able to enter the playoffs of the season-ending Governors’ Cup in September.
The last time they made it into the playoffs was in the 2016 edition of the Governors’ Cup when the franchise was still carrying the Mahindra Enforcer banner. They lost in the quarterfinals to eventual finalists Meralco Bolts.
“Yung winning culture dapat ma-put namin sa team. And sana maka-playoffs na kami next conference.”
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