By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE Columbian Dyip are back on the winning track in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup and they did so by bringing down one of the early top teams in tournament in the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 104-96, yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fell in their previous game, the Dyip made sure not to lose in consecutive times, holding tight in what was a competitive fight to improve to 3-2 while sending the E-Painters (3-1) to their first defeat.
Import John Fields and guard Reden Celda steered Columbian to early control of the match, with the team establishing a nine-point cushion, 23-14, with a little over four minutes left in the opening quarter.
But Rain or Shine would pick up its game as the frame wore on, narrowing its deficit to just three points, 31-28, after the first 12 minutes.
To open the second quarter the Dyip would go on a 15-10 run to create more separation, 46-38, with six minutes lapsing.
It was a spurt that Columbian capitalized on as it maintained the upper hand as the first half drew to a close, 58-53.
Making up for lost ground, Rain or Shine jump-started things in the third canto, going on a 6-0 blast, led by Ed Daquioag and Chris Tiu, in the opening minute to overtake Columbian, 59-58.
The E-Painters tried to pull away after that, extending their lead to as much as six points, 67-61.
But the Dyip would adjust their footing to stay within striking distance, 71-68, halfway into the quarter.
Their resilience paid off as the proceedings moved along, finding themselves on top anew, 78-73, with four minutes remaining with Jerramy King and Carlo Lastimosa providing the spark.
When the quarter smoke cleared, the Dyip continued to hold sway, 82-80.
With the outcome of the contest far from settled, the two squads jockeyed hard to take early control to start the payoff quarter.
The count was at 88-85 with Columbian ahead with eight minutes to go.
Columbian stretched its lead some more, 93-87, minutes later.
Rain or Shine tried to claw its way back, but Columbian would find ways to keep the former at bay.
The Dyip held a 99-94 lead with 1:57 to go before Mr. Fields made it a seven-point advantage, 101-94, with two free throws 30 seconds later.
It was a cushion that proved enough to stand on for Columbian as it went for the closeout and the win after.
Mr. Fields finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists with Rashawn McCarthy adding 23 and Mr. King 13 points.
Reggie Johnson led Rain or Shine with 30 points followed by Mr. Daquioag with 17 and Raymond Almazan with 16 points.
“This is the way to bounce back. After that horrible loss to Alaska last time around, we really talked about it and worked to correct our mistakes and this was the result,” said Columbian coach Ricky Dandan after their win, alluding to their 134-103 loss to Alaska previously.
Columbian returns to action on May 16 against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok while Rain or Shine next plays on May 13 versus the San Miguel Beermen.