Abueva proved mettle anew when it mattered

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    HARD TO STOP: Calvin Abueva stamps his mark in Phoenix’s last two wins. PBA PHOTO

    HE is the PBA’s ‘Beast’ for a reason.

    As if he never left the league for more than a year, Calvin Abueva stepped up big when Phoenix Super LPG searched for a hero after the ankle injury that hit top gunner Matthew Wright in the opener of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

    The pride of Angeles City, Pampanga heeded the call and delivered double-double performances as the Fuel Masters stood on the cusp of a long-coveted finals berth, taking a 2-1 series lead in their best-of-five duel with TNT Tropang Giga.

    Abueva was everywhere for the Fuel Masters in their back-to-back wins in Games 2 and 3, averaging 22.0 points on a 55 percent clip, including an impressive 63 percent shooting from three-point range to go with 14.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 3.0 steals.

    His all-around numbers earned him the unanimous choice as Cignal TV– PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for Nov. 16-22.

    As a starter for Barangay Ginebra which also took a 2-1 lead in its own semis series with Meralco, Arvin Tolentino rose to the occasion by submitting numbers of 8.7 points per game on 43-percent shooting from beyond the arc, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists to claim the Rookie of the Week honor handed out by members of the media covering the PBA beat.

    Hounded by early foul trouble in Game 1, Abueva settled for a 13-point, nine-rebound output as the Fuel Masters dropped a close 92-95 loss in the match that saw Wright held to just six minutes of play due to a sprained right ankle.

    Abueva, 32, came back with a bang in the next two games. He had 20 markers, 15 boards, four assists and two steals as Phoenix scored a 110-103 win in Game 2 then followed it up with 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals in a Game 3 triumph 92-89.

    “Basta ako, step-up lang. Binibigay ko lahat, energy at effort. Pag nandiyan ‘yung effort, kaya mo ibigay lahat para sa team,” he said.