By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE COLUMBIAN DYIP handed the San Miguel Beermen a huge loss in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup, fashioning out a 134-132 victory in overtime on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Finding the composure down the stretch, the Dyip (2-6) made things happen to escape with the victory over the Beermen (2-5), who with the loss slid further down the standings.
Columbian had control for much of the opening half with import Lester Prosper and rookie CJ Perez leading the charge.
The Dyip seized the first quarter, 33-26, before fending off a ferocious battle from the Beermen in the second canto to stay on top things by the half, 59-53.
San Miguel came out of the third quarter with more focus and aggressiveness on both ends of the court, looking to make up for lost ground.
It came to within a point, 63-62, at the 9:15 mark following a triple from guard Alex Cabagnot.
But much like what they were able to do in the previous quarter, Columbian found ways to keep its opponent at bay.
The Dyip responded with a 21-8 run in the next six minutes, on the lead of guard Rashawn McCarthy, to build a 14-point cushion, 84-70.
San Miguel sued for time after, which paid immediate dividends as it was able to narrow its deficit to eight points, 86-78, in the next minute on the strength of the two triples from Von Pessumal.
It was able to push itself forward as the period drew to a close, down by just six points, 88-82.
The Beermen continued with their charge back to begin the fourth canto with backup big man Kelly Nabong making his presence felt.
They were able to overtake the Dyip, 92-90, with 9:04 to go in the game.
The two teams swung at one another after, fighting to a tied count of 105-all with four minutes remaining on the clock.
Columbian then went on 7-4 run to go up, 112-109, entering the final two minutes.
Mr. Prosper made it a five-point cushion, 114-109, for the Dyip with a minute and 44 seconds left.
San Miguel, however, was undeterred by the hole it was in, answering with five straight points between import Charles Rhodes and guard Chris Ross to tie the score, 114-all, by the 1:13 mark.
Mr. McCarthy responded with a basket with 41 ticks remaining for the Dyip to go on top, 116-114.
The Beermen had a chance to level the count with 33 seconds left but Mr. Rhodes split his free throws to leave the Dyip ahead, 116-115.
Columbian made San Miguel pay for it as it set a charge and found valuable two points from Glenn Khobuntin, who hit a jumper with 10 seconds remaining and made it a 118-115 game.
San Miguel though was not out of it as it turned out with Arwind Santos draining a three-point-tying basket with a second left to level things at 118-all.
The Dyip set up a play to win the game but the desperation heave by Mr. Perez failed to hit the mark, sending the game into overdrive.
The game continued to be nip-and-tuck in the extra period.
Columbian held just a one-point lead, 129-128, with 1:40 remaining before Mr. Khobuntin extended it to four points, 132-128, with 42 seconds remaining.
Mr. Santos cut Columbian’s lead to two, 132-130, with a under-goal stab seven seconds later.
The Dyip pushed themselves four points clear anew, 134-130, with Mr. Perez finding the basket with 12 ticks left.
It was a hole the Beermen were not able to claw their way out from as Columbian held on for the win.
Mr. Proper top-scored for Columbian with 40 points to go along with 13 rebounds while Mr. Perez finished with all-around numbers of 34 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Mr. McCarthy had 27 points and 14 assists in the Dyip’s big win.
For San Miguel it was Mr. Rhodes who led with 26 points, followed by June Mar Fajardo with 24 markers.
The loss has the Beermen, the Philippine Cup champions, lagging behind further the playoff race.