Coach Johnedel Cardel’s pregame pep talk to his charges gravitated toward two very important things: playing patiently and playing hard.
They were very evident when Columbian held off powerhouse San Miguel Beer in overtime Sunday night, 134-132, that fanned the Dyip’s playoff chances in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup while putting the defending champion Beermen in a very precarious situation at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Lester Prosper, Rashawn McCarthy, and CJ Perez came through as usual for the Dyip, coming up with eye-popping numbers, but Columbian got an unlikely boost from the unheralded Glenn Khobuntin, who typified Cardel’s plea.
“I told them that if we played together, and if we were patient with our offense and played hard on defense, nothing is impossible,” Cardel said. “And that’s the game I got from them.”
Columbian improved to 2-6 with the win and has a mathematical chance of advancing to the playoffs with a sweep of its remaining three games. That task starts Wednesday when the Dyip slug it out with NorthPort, which has been at the top of the conference since the start.
Barangay Ginebra had four players scoring 22 points or more in the nightcap as the Gin Kings broke away late to clip Alaska, 118-106.
Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle shot 27 apiece in leading the Kings to their fifth win in nine games. The Aces, who got 29 points from Chris Banchero and 22 points and 22 rebounds from returning import Diamon Simpson, dropped to 4-5.
Prosper had another monster double-double of 40 points and 13 rebounds, while Perez was steady all game and tossed in 34 more.
McCarthy added 27 to complete a three-cornered battering ram for the Dyip as the trio was compensated by Khobuntin, who accounted for eight crucial points.
Averaging 5.7 points, Khobuntin, a banger who plays no-nonsense defense, hit a tough pull-up jumper over Marcio Lassiter in the fourth period.
He also connected on a pair of tough baskets—highlighted by a triple with 46 ticks left—to keep the Beermen at bay in the extra period .
“We led by 12. We lost our patience at one point and they (Beermen) saw that,” said Cardel, who was still missing a number of his veterans because of injuries.
San Miguel turned to its twin towers in import Charles Rhodes and reigning five-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, who scored 26 and 24 points, respectively.
The duo, though, still couldn’t rescue the Beermen from losing for the fifth time in seven outings and staying in the lower half of the draw heading into the final two weeks of eliminations.
Arwind Santos had with 15 points off the bench—including a booming trey with a tenth of a second left to forge OT at 118-all.
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