GERRY SHOT! Abadiano's trademark shot saves day for NU
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 22, 2019 07:46 PM
Gerry Abadiano went his his good old favorite shot to win the game for NU
Once up by 26 points in their semifinals game in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM, Nazareth School of National University, all of a sudden, found itself all even with San Beda High School in the endgame.
And so, with 22 seconds left in the game, the Bullpups put the ball in the hands of Gerry Abadiano.
And the team captain did nothing but deliver the goods.
Off a timeout, he got the inbound, crossed the ball over to their side of the court, and then waited for the clock to dwindle down to just six seconds.
Right then and there, the 5-foot-9 heady guard put his head down, motored onward to the left side of the free throw line, and bumped defender Kai Oliva just enough to get some space. "Inisip ko lang na pina-practice ko yun lagi and last shot na 'to para mag-championship na kami," he shared post-game.
He then continued, "Pag tinira ko 'to, bahala na kung pumasok o hindi, kung manalo overtime."
Now with a good look, he wasted no time in gathering the ball, rising up, and launching the shot that would eventually end up as the game-winner that sent NU to the Finals and shut the door on the Red Cubs. "Pumasok naman siya, sobrang saya," he said.
Yes, San Beda's Penny Estacio still had two free throws that would have sent the game to overtime and only made one, but the fact remains that Abadiano's shot was the difference between the high school powerhouses.
That he would take and make that shot shouldn’t have been a surprise, though, as that drive to the elbow and pull-up jumper has become his trademark.
Indeed, he has been working on that each and every day. "Lagi-lagi sa training, pina-practice ko. Kung wala akong magawa, dribble pull-up, ganun lagi," he shared.
He then continued, "Kumbaga, nasanay na rin katawan ko. Drive lang ako, konting nudge, tas pull-up."
That is exactly why, when the Bullpups needed him to come through, the 18-year-old had full faith that his trusty should would pull through. "Second half kasi, nag-relax kami so nakahabol sila kaya umabot sa ganun yung situation. Parte na lang din po yun ng pag-take charge ko bilang isa sa mga leader," he said.
In the end, thanks to Abadiano's heroics, NU has the golden opportunity to make history by winning the national championship for high school in back-to-back years. "Sana, sana. Sana makuha namin yung championship," he said.
To do that, he and the rest of the Bullpups will have to go through very game La Salle Green Hills in the Finals on Sunday at SM MOA Arena.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.