PBA on Tour: Reden Celda punishes Terrafirma but remains grateful to former team
MANILA, Philippines — Reden Celda haunted his former team Terrafirma to help end Phoenix Super LPG’s three-game losing streak in the PBA on Tour with a convincing victory on Friday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The 31-year-old guard played his best preseason game so far with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the Fuel Masters. But Celda insisted that he didn’t have any extra motivation against Terrafirma, where he saw action for six years.
“I had no [other motives]. Our goal was to win. That’s what we had in mind,” said Celda in Filipino shortly after their 104-92 win. “I’m still grateful to Terrafirma because I played for them for how many years and they opened the door for my dream to play in the PBA.”
The PBA veteran spent the longest time of his pro career with the Terrafirma franchise from 2016 until the 2021 season before his contract expired the following year. He then signed with NLEX, the team that drafted him as the eighth pick of the second round in 2016.
Celda had fun playing against the Dyip but his focus remained on adjusting to Phoenix’s system after he was traded by NLEX three weeks ago after two games with the latter in the preseason.
“We were joking inside the court (with my former teammates). I just enjoyed and stayed aggressive,” he said in Filipino. “Because I am still adjusting to the system of my new team, offensively and defensively.”
The former National University stalwart is embracing his leadership role this preseason, guiding the young guns Tyler Tio, Sean Manganti, and Larry Muyang.
“If RJ (Jazul) and RR (Garcia) are not on this team, I will be the oldest,” he said. “Most of them are young. But we enjoy in practice because they are working hard.”
Celda, who is averaging 13.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.0 steals with the Fuel Masters in four games, credited his stellar showing to coach Jamike Jarin.
“Coach Jamike is a good [coach] on and off the court. So it’s easier for me to adjust because I also have good teammates. RJ and RR are guiding me especially how the team runs defense and offense. At the end of the day, it’s still basketball. I’ve been playing this game since I was a kid,” Celda said.