PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Calvin Abueva clutch as Magnolia survives Cameron Oliver eruption for TNT

Delfin Dioquino
Calvin Abueva clutch as Magnolia survives Cameron Oliver eruption for TNT

ESCAPE. Calvin Abueva and Magnolia get the last laugh against Cameron Oliver and TNT.

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Magnolia withstands the 43-point explosion of TNT import Cameron Oliver to remain unbeaten and improve to 3-0

MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Abueva played hero down the stretch as Magnolia stayed perfect in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup following a 94-92 squeaker against TNT at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, October 5.

Abueva dropped 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 9 rebounds and 2 steals, taking over after import Nick Rakocevic went down with an apparent knee injury to help the Hotshots improve to 3-0.

The energetic forward scored the go-ahead layup with 30 seconds left before Paul Lee sank the game-winning free throws as Magnolia put to waste the sensational PBA debut of Tropang Giga reinforcement Cameron Oliver.

Erupting for 43 points on top of 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks, Oliver knotted the score at 92-92 after that Abueva bucket with a crucial putback.

But Lee fished a disputed shooting foul on Calvin Oftana in the ensuing play and drained the foul shots that gave the Hotshots the victory.

Rakocevic finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal but left the game midway through the fourth quarter after a friendly fire from teammate Jackson Corpuz.

Bumped by Roger Pogoy, Corpuz fell and hit Rakocevic on his way down as the Serbian import writhed in pain on the floor before he got assisted off the court.

Lee chalked up 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Mark Barroca posted 13 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds in the win.

Despite the impressive performance from Oliver, who is being considered as a naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas, the Tropang Giga badly missed the presence of several key players.

Star guards Jayson Castro and Mikey Williams sat out due to injuries, while Poy Erram served a one-game suspension after being slapped with a flagrant foul in Game 7 of the Philippine Cup finals in September.

Roger Pogoy led the local cast for TNT with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Oftana added 12 points and 7 rebounds in his first game for the Tropang Giga after being shipped by NLEX through a three-team trade.

The Scores

Magnolia 94 – Abueva 25, Rakocevic 22, Lee 16, Barroca 13, Dionisio 9, Corpuz 5, Mendoza 3, Wong 1, Zaldivar 0, Reavis 0, Jalalon 0.

TNT 92 – Oliver 43, Pogoy 23, Oftana 12, Montalbo 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Marcelo 3, Alejandro 3, Cruz 0, Tungcab 0, K.Williams 0.

Quarters: 26-29, 42-54, 62-73, 94-92.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.