ANTIPOLO CITY – Reden Celda shrugged off the effects of a cervical whiplash to help Columbian Dyip post its best ever start to a season in the PBA.
The Davao City native shared scoring honors with three other teammates as the Dyip pulled off yet another upset in the Philippine Cup with a 110-100 drubbing of erstwhile unbeaten NorthPort Batang Pier on Friday at the Ynares Center.
Celda struggled from the field on 2-of-9 shooting but made up for it by converting 10-of-11 from the foul line to help the team raised its record to 2-1 a week after bringing down defending champion San Miguel Beer, 124-118.
And to think the Columbian Dyip guard is coming off a neck injury he suffered when he slammed his head on the cement floor at the sideline of the Smart Araneta Coliseum while going after a looseball together with Calvin Abueva during the Dyip’s loss to Phoenix last Wednesday.
Celda admitted there’s still some pain at the back of his head, but was nonetheless given the clearance to play by doctors.
“Masakit pa rin yung dito ko,” he said pointing to a back part of his neck, while likewise showing a long bruise he also sustained in his lower right leg.
“Kahit masakit, niye-yelo ko na lang. Ang importante kasi sa akin yung manalo kami.”
The 2-1 card by the Dyip, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, is the best start of the team in the All-Filipino conference.
Assistant team manager Doc Ivy Bautista confirmed Celda suffered from a whiplash after undergoing an MRI test. The Columbian guard was no longer fielded during the second half shortly after sustaining the injury, but stayed inside the dugout and watched the Dyip lose to the Fuel Masters, 108-98.
Celda initially had to wear a neck brace to prevent the injury from getting worse.
“Pero ngayon wala na (neck brace). Ok naman na, tinitiis-tiis ko lang,” he said.
He was rewarded with a win.
“Yun ang importante doon, panalo,” he said. “Kasi last conference isang win lang kami, kaya gutom kaming manalo talaga.”
It would be a short celebration for Columbian though as it immediately returns to action on Sunday to take on winless NLEX.