To say that Calvin Abueva is hungry to win a PBA title is an understatement.
After capturing the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup crown with Alaska during his rookie year in the PBA, Abueva fell short of the championship in the last four occasions he reached the finals.
“The Beast” was on the wrong end of history when San Miguel completed its historic “beer-acle” run in the 2015 Philippine Cup, where it came back from a 0-3 deficit to stun Alaska in the finals.
Even when Abueva got shipped to Phoenix, the farthest he got in the playoffs was the semifinals in the 2019 and 2020 Philippine Cup.
Now with Magnolia, Abueva gets another crack at reaching the PBA zenith again as they face TNT for the all-Filipino title in a best-of-seven finals starting on Wednesday, October 20.
“Those experiences are what motivate me,” Abueva said in Filipino about his string of runner-up finishes.
Abueva has breath new life into a Magnolia team that never made it past the quarterfinals for the last three conferences as they barged into the finals for the first time in two years.
Fitting with Magnolia like a glove from the get-go, Abueva emerged the frontrunner in the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) race with all-around numbers of 15.2 points, 10 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1 steal.
He remained consistent in the playoffs, as evidenced by his averages of 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.2 steals as Magnolia dispatched Meralco in six semifinals games.
Abueva, though, said bagging his second BPC plum is just a “bonus” as he continues to make the elusive all-Filipino crown his priority.
“I do not focus on my stats or anything. My mindset is I want the team to play in the finals,” Abueva said.
“I will leave it up to God who will win this championship.” – Rappler.com