CALVIN Abueva, nicknamed the “Beast”, was beautiful in his return to the PBA last Monday.
In fact, the “Beast” was simply too beautiful he nearly finished with a triple double of 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Phoenix Super LPG’s 114-110 win over NLEX and a 4-2 win-loss record.
Abueva did a little of eveything on both ends of the floor to herald his return to the court after a long time out of it.
“Hindi ko naman hinabol yung stats. Ang hinabol ko kung paano kami manalo sa game. Ang focus ko kung paano ako makatulong na makuha yung minimithi ng team,” said Abueva during post-game interview.
On Thursday, Abueva returns to the playing court against no less than his former team Alaska Milk in what could be another exciting dogfight at 4 p.m. at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Abueva is expected to cross swords with former teammate and close pal Vic Manuel.
“Magandang laban ito. We have to be ready, lalo na nandyan na uli si Calvin,” said Manuel, known as the “Muscle Man” and now Alaska’s main enforcer since Abueva’s transfer to Phoenix.
Manuel and Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso will have work cut out for them, especially after the Aces’ scrambling 99-96 win Terrafirma Dyip last Tuesday.
The win put the Aces at 4-3, just behind the Fuel Masters’4-2 record
The game will also mark the first time that Topex Robinson, as head coach, will meet the Aces where he had served as a player and as an assistant coach.
Robinson took over the head coaching chores of Phoenix from veteran coach Louie Alas just before the start of bubble play last Oct. 11.
In the 6:45 p.m. mainer, Talk N Text guns for its sixth straight win and the first quarterfinals berth when it takes on sister team NLEX.
Talk N Text was suppoed to meet NorthPort last Monday, but the game was cancelled when league officials announced that a player from Blackwater tested positive for the coronavirus.
The PBA later said the player has already been cleared after his antigen and swab tests yielded negative results.
Since the Tropang Giga played the Elite last Thursday, they were also barred from leaving their rooms and the former’s game against the Batang Pier reset to a later date.
Now, the Tropang Giga are heavily-favored to win over the struggling Road Warrriors and formalize their entry into the eight-team quarterfinals.
“That’s really our target. Yun makapasok muna sa quarterfinals,” said Talk N Text coach Bong Ravena
“Then, we will continue to try and win more games para makapasok sa top four, possibly be even No. 1,” added Ravena.
(Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena)
4 p.m. — Phoenix vs. Alaska
6:45 p.m. — Talk N Text vs. NLEX