Fiery Abueva powers Stags past CardinalsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
He may be out of the MVP race, but that’s not stopping Calvin Abueva from putting up MVP-like numbers.
Working hard on both ends of the floor, Abueva notched a second straight triple double as the San Sebastian Stags walloped the Mapua Cardinals, 77-62, last night in the 88th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Abueva tallied 21 points, including 18 in the second half, grabbed 20 rebounds and dished out 10 assists as the Stags came from behind to avenge their first-round loss to the Cardinals, who are almost out of the Final Four picture after dropping to 5-9.
With their fourth straight victory, the Stags pulled within half a game of the San Beda Lions after improving to 11-2.
“I’m here to help my team win,” said Abueva, picked by Alaska as the second overall choice in the recent PBA Rookie Draft, who now has four triple doubles this season and five in his NCAA career.
“It’s important for him to leave a legacy with this team,” said San Sebastian coach Allan Trinidad of his prized forward.
Just like in their first-round duel, though, the Stags struggled in the first half as Mapua surged ahead, 24-10, on a Joseph Erioubu triple with 8:14 left in the second quarter.
Compounding the Stags’ woes early on was the ejection of forward Dexter Maiquez, who was called for a disqualifying foul on Andretti Stevens midway in the second period.
But Abueva and the rest of the Stags flipped the script in the second half. The Stags were still trailing, 32-41, when Ian Sangalang, who had another strong game with 28 points and 10 boards, and Abueva joined forces for 26 of their team’s 32 points in the third period.
SAN SEBASTIAN 77—Sangalang 28, Abueva 21, Miranda 9, Pascual 7, Juico 6, Antipuesto 3, Dela Cruz 2, Rebullos 1, Gusi 0, Vitug 0, Maiquez 0.
MAPUA 62—Nimes 17, Parala 14, G. Banal 12, Cantos 6, Brana 4, Eriobu 3, Ighalo 3, J. Banal 3, Saitanan 0, Stevens 0.
Quarters: 10-18, 25-32, 57-50, 77-62