MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix closes in on a top 2 finish in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, and that is largely thanks to the energy and hustle provided by Calvin Abueva.
“The Beast” had been on attack mode after leading Phoenix to back-to-back wins over NorthPort and Alaska to earn his first Cignal PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of February 27 to March 3.
Abueva, 31, submitted averages of 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks as Phoenix seized solo lead in the standings with a 7-1 record.
A 7-time PBA All-Star, Abueva scattered with 14 points, 7 rebounds and two assists in a controversial and gritty 98-96 victory over NorthPort on February 27.
Two days later, the 31-year-old upped the ante against former team Alaska as he submitted 21 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in a 94-80 blowout triumph.
The victories formalized Phoenix’s entry into the quarterfinals.
Although admitting taming “The Beast” is a hard task due to his boundless energy, Phoenix coach Louie Alas was glad to see his ward maintain a teachable attitude on an off-the-bench role.
“The past few games I didn’t insert him in the starting lineup, but there’s no instance that after grabbing a rebound, he will attack the defense,” Alas said in describing the mindset of the former Best Player of the Conference.
“I just simply reminded him that it’s okay to be aggressive as long as he’s in control.”
Abueva bested teammates Matthew Wright and Justin Chua along with Blackwater’s Allein Maliksi and Mac Belo and Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon for the weekly citation.
Phoenix shoots for its eighth win in 9 games when it duels Magnolia on Wednesday, March 6, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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