NCAA: Abueva downplays historic feat, focused on team goalBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Calvin Abueva put the exclamation point in San Sebastian’s statement win over San Beda, viciously throwing down a two-handed dunk.
And the rest was history: Abueva went on to become the first player ever in the country to lead a major basketball league in average points, rebounds and assists.
“The Beast” as he is fondly called, unleashed 23 points, 16 rebounds and three assists to finish the elimination round of the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball tournament with an unmatched average of 20.1 points, 16.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
“Masaya ako (with what I’ve achieved) pero mas pinaghahandaan namin yung games namin,” downplayed Abueva, who needed to shoot 22 points coming into their game versus San Beda.
And with 23 markers, the second overall pick of the Alaska Aces edged Letran’s Kevin Alas in the scoring department by just .1.
Abueva also nipped the Red Lions playmaker Baser Amer with the same slim margin in assists while being the runaway best rebounder in the league with Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Happi Noube a far second norming 12.1 boards per game.
“Ang focus ko kasi at ng team is yung championship,” added the double-double machine Abueva, who would’ve been this year’s clear-cut MVP before getting suspended.
The Stags, who earned the no.2 spot and the twice-to-beat incentive after turning back the Red Lions anew, 69-55, will battle the surging Knights in the Final Four.
Letran swept San Sebastian in the elimination round and it only gets tougher for the Stags with Ronald Pascual’s automatic suspension after getting tossed out early versus San Beda.