Cabrera’s buzzer beater lifts Freego Jeans over Gems | Inquirer Sports

Cabrera’s buzzer beater lifts Freego Jeans over Gems

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:53 PM January 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Roider Cabrera logged only three minutes in the game but he had the time of his life.

With Freego Jeans down by two in the waning seconds of its semifinals opener against title-favorite Cebuana Lhuillier, Cabrera scored his only basket to lift the Jeans Makers over the Gems, 57-56, at the buzzer.

“I have no idea if it will go in,” said Cabrera in Filipino.

Lester Alvarez, who ended up with a game-high 16 points, caught Cebuana’s defense on its heels after driving into the teeth of it which freed up Cabrera.

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The 20-year-old swingman set up his dagger of a trey with a fake before pulling up at the right elbow.

“I was a bit nervous, but I want those kind of situations,” said the soft-spoken Cabrera.

“It was a play designed for Lester (Alvarez). I told him to drive to open up our shooters,” said Freego head coach Leo Austria, whose squad leads 1-0 in the best-of-three series.

“Big win because we are the underdog, they are the superior team when it comes to talent,” added Austria.

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The Gems rallied from 14 points down and led 56-54, after back-to-back triples from Terrence Romeo.

But a costly error by Kevin Alas off the sideline inbound paved the way for Cabrera’s cold-blooded shot.

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Adamson Falcons-led Freego went on an 8-0 blitz to recapture their lead, 54-50, capped by an Alvarez contested trey with 1:08 remaining.

Game wasn’t over yet at that point as Cebuana Lhuillier came back once more on Romeo’s hot hand as both teams engaged in a shooting exhibition with the relatively sizeable crowd at the San Juan Arena into it.

Vic Manuel carried the Gems with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds to offset his six errors while Romeo came through with 13 points.

But it wasn’t enough, as the Gems with their backs against the wall, try to even the series on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

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“Game 2 will be hard for us. There’s no more tomorrow for them so they will do everything they can. I expect them to be physical from the start,” said Austria.

TAGS: Cebuana Lhuillier, Freego Jeans, Gems, Kevin Alas, Roider Cabrera, Terrence Romeo

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