Gems sparkle down the stretch to nip ErasersBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Cebuana Lhuillier stayed alive for an outright semifinals berth and at the same time booted Erase Plantcenta out of contention after a hard-fought 84-77 win Tuesday in the 2012 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Treston Gym in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Lester Alvarez, who went scoreless in the opening quarter, had 17 points, including three free throws that gave the Gems an 80-77 gap with 1:01 left.
The Erasers squandered a double-digit lead it built in the third quarter and blew several chances to reclaim the lead or at least tie the game.
Jett Vidal, who knocked down a trey that put Erase up, 53-43, in the third quarter, slipped in front of his bench that resulted in a James Mangahas basket on the other end for an 82-77 Cebuana cushion with less than 10 seconds left.
Vidal wound up with 18 points on five triples while Allan, James’ brother, added 17 in a losing cause.
The Gems won the close affair despite a sub-par outing from their ace player Vic Manuel, who only had 11 points and four rebounds.