REDEN Celda hit a running jumper with 9.3 seconds left as Columbian edged Phoenix Pulse, 100-98, on Saturday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Celda scored 17 points and hit the game-winning shot after Glenn Khobuntin made a fine defensive play for the Dyip, who stayed alive in the quarterfinal race with a 3-7 win-loss card.
Lester Prosper had 25 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks, while Rashawn McCarthy had 19 points for Columbian, which handed Phoenix Pulse its fifth loss in nine games in the Petron Saturday Special.
“I told them, three games were very close. Sabi ko sa kanila, if we play like that again, baka maka-chamba tayo,” said Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel.
The Fuel Masters looked headed for the win after Richard Howell stole the ball and RJ Jazul in transition with the score tied at 98-98. But Khobuntin came away with a huge defensive stand after a chasedown block that kept the Dyip alive.
The Dyip also responded well after an 11-0 Fuel Masters run gave their opponent an 86-84 lead. Led by McCarthy, Columbian scored seven straight points to grab a 94-88 lead.
Prosper hit a triple to break a 95-95 tie, but Matthew Wright answered with a three at the right corner with 32.6 seconds left to set up a thrilling finish.
Howell had 35 points and 23 rebounds, while Wright added 23 points on 5 of 8 from threes in a losing cause.
Columbian 100 – Prosper 25, McCarthy 19, Perez 18, Celda 17, Khobuntin 6, Reyes 5, Escoto 4, Camson 4, Cahilig 2, Tabi 0, Faundo 0.
Phoenix Pulse 98 – Howell 35, Wright 23, Jazul 12, Intal 8, Perkins 7, Mallari 7, Chua 5, Kramer 0, Napoles 0, Dennison 0, Marcelo 0.
Quarters: 22-27; 49-40; 73-71; 100-98.