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Cuaresma shows he still got game with crucial saves against Marikina

Kaya FC Makati

By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--He may be 34 years old now, but Ref Cuaresma showed on Wednesday night that he still has it.

The veteran goalkeeper saved Kaya Makati from getting shocked at home by JPV Marikina with huge saves late in the second half of their match at the University of Makati Stadium to salvage a 2-2 draw which would still be enough to snap Makati's two-game skid.

"I give credit to our goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma. For me, this is his best performance. He saved Kaya to get that one point," said Makati coach Noel Marcaida after the game.

Even Marikina gaffer Dan Padernal has his hat off to Cuaresma.

"We know that Ref is a quality goalkeeper, he’s a veteran and a former Azkal. I know Ref will stand tall in those kinds of situations that he's badly needed," said Padernal.

However, none was more important than the final play of the match, in which Cuaresma saved a flicker attempt from a Marikina player that would have put the road team up.

"In a goalkeeper's point of view, it's what you call the 'action play'. Just put your body there and give it all. That's why we're goalkeepers. We take those hits. It's part of our lives. It's so lucky I saved that ball," he commented on the final save.

Still, Cuaresma downplayed his performance that earned him man of the match honors and instead credited his teammates for giving a gallant fight despite playing sans defender Masa Omura and striker Jordan Mintah due to suspensions.

"The players responded well. Sometimes, they just had to get away from their comfort zones for the team. Everything was collective today. I just did my part," Cuaresma said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno