Hesed Gabo struggled all game long, but came through with the most crucial basket of the game that propelled the Quezon City Capitals to a tense 81-79 come from behind win over the Rizal Crusaders in the MPBL Datu Cup at the San Andres Gym.
Gabo scored off a tough drive to the basket against a phalanx of Rizal defenders, giving the Black Mamba Energy Drink-backed Capitals the marginal basket in the last four seconds of the game.
“Ang inisip ko talaga, whatever happens, I’m going to take it strong,” Gabo told FOX PH in an exclusive interview.
Alwyn Alday finished with a double-double performance of 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way for the Capitals, who improved their win-loss record to 9-10 and moved up to sixth spot of the northern division standings of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as the commissioner.
But Alday had a bonehead move when he fouled Eric dela Cuesta in the act of shooting with still nine seconds to go and the veteran swingman hit two crucial free throws to knot the count at 79-all.
Gabo, however, bailed Alday and the rest of the Capitals out of trouble with a gutsy play.
“It was a crucial win for us, especially now that the race has become tighter, particularly in the north. One loss could change everything,” added Quezon City coach Vis Valencia, who dedicated the win to his dad Billy Valencia.
The loss was the 16th in 22 games for Rizal, which remained at the bottom of the southern division. Rizal led most of the way and raced to a 14-2 lead.
Quezon City led for the first time, 75-73, off a jumper from Alday with 2:58 left in the final quarter.