PBA Governors' Cup

Abueva joins 5,000-point club as Magnolia whips Blackwater to stay in playoff bonus mix

Delfin Dioquino

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Abueva joins 5,000-point club as Magnolia whips Blackwater to stay in playoff bonus mix

FEAT ACHIEVED. Calvin Abueva saves his best for last in the elimination round for Magnolia.

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Calvin Abueva becomes the 96th player in PBA history to reach the scoring milestone as he drops a season-high in points for Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Abueva joined the 5,000-point club and catapulted Magnolia to a 110-95 romp of Blackwater in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Wednesday, March 8.

Abueva became the 96th player in PBA history to reach the scoring milestone after dropping a season-high 27 points as the Hotshots boosted their bid for a twice-to-beat bonus, ending the elimination round with a 7-4 record.

Needing just 8 points to achieve the feat prior to the game, the energetic forward scored 10 points in the first half, including a late bucket in the second quarter that gave Magnolia a slim 48-45 lead at halftime.

The 35-year-old then turned it up a notch in the third period, where he and import Antonio Hester combined for 17 of the Hotshots’ 39 points in the quarter as they built a commanding 87-66 cushion.

Abueva added 13 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Hester also produced a double-double of 22 points and 20 rebounds.

Russel Escoto provided spark off the bench with 17 points and 6 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action as Magnolia claimed its third straight win going into the playoffs.

The Hotshots are tied with Meralco at fifth place, a spot behind the top-four finish that merits a win-once incentive in the quarterfinals.

“We cannot control whatever happens to the other teams,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino. “Whatever is given to us in the playoffs, at least we have a chance – that is the most important thing.”

Jio Jalalon dished out 11 assists on top of 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals in the win and Rome dela Rosa chimed in 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Although the first team to be eliminated from contention, the Bossing looked to play spoiler in the standings by erecting a blazing 23-8 run highlighted by seven triples to narrow the gap to 89-95 with six minutes left.

Baser Amer waxed hot for four treys during that stretch and JVee Casio cashed in back-to-back three-pointers to cap it as Blackwater gave the Hotshots a run for their money.

Magnolia, though, leaned on Abueva, Hester, and Dela Rosa for the 10-2 blitz that sealed the win.

Import Shawn Glover posted 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals as the Bossing wrapped up their campaign on a nine-game losing streak and finished with a 1-10 record for 12th and last place.

Casio fired 20 points with 10 assists, while Amer tallied 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in another disappointing ending for the embattled Bossing franchise.

The Scores

Magnolia 110 – Abueva 27, Hester 22, Escoto 17, Dela Rosa 14, Lee 9, Dionisio 8, Barroca 6, Jalalon 4, Corpuz 3, Ahanmisi 0, Wong 0.

Blackwater 95 – Glover 22, Casio 20, Amer 16, Ular 12, Sena 6, Hill 6, Ayonayon 6, Ilagan 5, Suerte 2, Torralba 0, Rosario 0, Banal 0.

Quarters: 32-20, 48-45, 87-66, 110-95.

– 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.