Freego Jeans squandered its lead but came back to its senses just in time to nip Cebuana Lhuillier, 71-66, Tuesday in the 2011 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JRU Gym.
Bacon Austria nailed clutch trey with 9.7 seconds left that gave Freego a 69-64 breathing room.
Freego remained unbeaten after four games despite the absence of its main man Alex Nuyles, who has yet to play this season due to a nagging shoulder injury.
The Gems trailed by nine before going on an 11-0 tear capped by a Terrence Romeo basket that gave Cebuana a 64-62 buffer with 2:33 left.
Freego, with its roster made up with UAAP stars, regrouped and got a lift from center Austin Manyara who also delivered key baskets.
Eric Camson had 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with two blocks while Manyara finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards.
Austria, a member of Ateneo’s four-peat in the UAAP, added 11 points.
The Gems, who absorbed their first defeat in four stints, leaned on Vic Manuel anew.
Manuel unleashed a game-high 21 points and hauled down eight rebounds.