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CJ Perez now leaves Columbian’s playoff chance to fate

CJ Perez and Columbian were hoping to catch Ginebra on a bad night when they faced off on Friday. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

It became a bad night for the Dyip instead. The rampaging Gin Kings proved too much to handle, and Columbian saw itself on the losing end of a harsh 90-113 beatdown.

“Yun lang naman hino-hope namin, na pumangit ‘yung laro nila para medyo magkaroon kami ng chance,” admitted Perez, who had 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists but had six turnovers.

“Wala. Maganda nilaro ng Ginebra.”

This meeting Ginebra and Columbian turned out completely differently from their 2019 Commissioner’s Cup eliminations match-up last July 14.

That match was no-bearing, but it made a strong case as one of the best games this season. The Barangay forced overtime before walking away with the 127-123 decision.

That match, moreover, saw an epic duel of imports. Justin Brownlee powered Ginebra with a career-high 50 points to get the best of Lester Prosper, who also had a career outing with 45 that night.

Perez, of course, expressed regret for their inability to replicate that performance Friday. But he regrets more that the Dyip had the lead once but failed to keep the advantage.

Columbian came back from a 44-63 deficit early in the third quarter, then took a 78-77 lead with 1:22 left in the said period. But Jeff Chan and Art Dela Cruz restored order for the Gin Kings.

“Nakakapanghinayang, siyempre. Nakadikit kami, lumamang pa kami,” said Perez, one of the favorites for the Rookie of the Year plum.

“Pero that’s basketball. Wala tayong magagawa dun.”

Columbian’s fate for the quarterfinals is no longer in its hands following the defeat, which dropped its win-loss card to 4-7. It will have to hope for the other teams to lose for a chance.

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The Dyip need the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (3-7) and either NorthPort Batang Pier or Alaska Aces (both 4-6) to lose their next games for a shot at at least a playoff for number eight.

Columbian is currently at ninth in the standings. Sitting at eighth are the Batang Pier, while the Aces are at seventh. The Dyip have beaten them both early in the conference.

Rain or Shine and NorthPort will play on Sunday versus Meralco and Ginebra, respectively, while Alaska will face NLEX on Wednesday in the last elimination playdate.

“Magre-rely kami sa ibang team kung ano ilalaro nila,” he said. “Kung matatalo sila may chance kami maka-playoffs; kung maganda ilalaro ng mga teams. malamang wala kami sa playoffs.

“Abangan na lang namin ‘yung mga susunod pang games.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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