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    Cardel hoping against hope as Columbian playoff hopes hang in balance

    Mar 22, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    ANTIPOLO CITY – While Columbian still has a mathematical chance of advancing to the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, everything now depends on the outcome of games of the three other teams above them, namely NLEX, Alaska, and Magnolia.

    Although hopes are slim, coach Johnedel Cardel isn’t losing hope.

    “Kung talagang destiny naming pumasok, makakapag-knockout kami,” said Cardel. “But it’s a hard way siguro. Butas ng karayom ang dadaanan namin.”

    It could have been a different case had the Dyip beaten the TnT Katropa in their final elimination-round assignment on Friday night. But the Katropa had other things in mind as they pulled off a close 101-98 win at the Ynares Center.

    Cardel lamented how 13 missed shots from the foul line (28-of-41) and 27 turnovers weighed down the Dyip in the end.

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    “Too late to realize na kaya naming manalo. Sayang,” said Cardel of the Dyip, who came charging back from an 18-point deficit in the final period to make a game out of it.

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    The loss left Columbian with a 4-7 record, a game behind the Road Warriors, Hotshots, and Aces, who are all bunched up at 4-5.

    As per tournament format, the quotient tiebreak will apply if three teams end up tied for the eighth and final quarterfinal spot. A knockout game will be held if two teams finish tied at No. 8.

    And that’s what Cardel is hoping to happen.

    “We’re hoping. Doon na lang kami magre-rely on the others kung magkakaroon kami ng tsansa na makapasok,” he said.

    The waiting game is on for the Dyip.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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