The moment Columbian managed to retrieve the ball following the huge chasedown block by Glenn Khobuntin, Dyip head coach Johnedel Cardel was instructing his wards on the court to take it slow and call for a timeout.
The seasoned bench tactician obviously wanted to map out a proper plan to maximize the 16 seconds left to play in their 2019 PBA Commissoner’s Cup clash versus the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters Saturday, that’s why.
Unfortunately, Reden Celda, the one bringing down the ball and the one Cardel was yelling at to call for a break, did not hear his coach’s plea. Instead, he went on and drove, before hoisting up a teardrop near the free throw line.
“Magta-timeout pala dapat kami pero ‘di ko na nakita. Nakita ko kasi open yung lane,” Celda explained. “‘Di ko nakita kasi nakayuko ako, kasi may mga guards din na sumusundot e.
“Paglingon ko nasa free throw line na ‘ko tapos open, yun.”
Celda threw the shot all over the defense of Jason Perkins. It kissed the glass first, before meeting the bottom of the net.
That gave Columbian a 100-98 edge over Phoenix Pulse with 9.3 seconds left. The Dyip would then deny the Fuel Masters from having a proper look at the basket, and that was all enough to take them down and walk away with the win.
“Kung mintis yun ‘di ko alam mangyayari.
“Nakuha naman yung panalo, yun naman ang importante,” said the product of NU with a laugh.
Celda finished with 17 points, eight assists, and four rebounds in the victory. But what’s more remarkable is that Saturday’s match is actually his first game back since sitting out for two games no thanks to a hip injury.
“Masaya,” said Celda of his return, where he played for over 26 minutes and shot 66.7 percent from the field.
The win has kept Columbian alive in the playoff race of the mid-season joust as they improved to 3-7. But for Celda, regardless if they are in or not anymore, they’re still going to play the best that they can in their last game.
Their last assignment will be against defending champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on July 14.
“‘Di namin alam kung pasok pa kami o ‘di na, pero sabi ni coach sa’min kahit na non-bearing o ano, kailangan i-respeto namin yung laro so every game pukpok pa rin.”