It’s just one game, but Alaska sophomore forward Calvin Abueva was back in “beast” mode during the Aces’ 93-87 victory over San Miguel Beer on Sunday’s (May 18) opening day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Abueva scored eight of his 12 points in the final period, while his activity level on the boards was high, as evidenced in his nine rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.
The 6-1 Alaska forward was obviously disappointed with the way the team’s supposed title-retention bid end in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.
With Abueva averaging around four fouls per contest in the second conference, the Aces sorely missed the sophomore swingman’s energy on the floor during the crucial minutes of the game.
Alaska lost to eventual Commissioner’s Cup champion San Mig Super Coffee in their quarterfinal series, 2-1, putting an end to the Uytengsu-owned franchise’s reign.
There’s no doubt that Abueva’s high-energy play can change the game for Alaska, though for the second-year swingman to strung up more consistent numbers this conference, he will have to keep his emotions in check, while making sure he stays out of foul trouble as well.
Yes, Abueva’s aggressiveness and hustle can be annoying a lot of times for opposing squads, but those intangibles can sure contribute to Alaska’s bid of ending the season with a PBA championship.
The stats line of 12 points and 9 rebounds may seem pale in comparison to an import’s statistics in a game this third conference, but if the Alaska forward learns to stick within the team’s game plan, I have no doubt that the Aces are capable of earning back a place in the top 4 come the playoffs.
And who knows, even make a return trip to the Finals in the Governors Cup.