In Huddle

Abueva the next rookie MVP?


THE RACE for the 2012-2013 PBA Best  Player of the Conference is on, head statistician Fidel Mangonon informed us through a text message early yesterday morning.

On top of the list after the elimination round, are Petron’s Arwind Santos with an average of 35.9 statistical points with Alaska’s Calvin Abueva second with 32.7.

Talk ‘N Text’s Jason Castro lay third with 31.9, followed by Meralco’s Sol Mercado with 31.1 and Kelly Williams, also of TNT, with 29.3.

The next five are Jeffrei Chan of Rain or Shine, James Yap of San Mig Coffee,  Ranidel de Ocampo of TNT, Larry Fonacier of TNT, and Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra and Cyrus Baguio of Alaska (tied), in that order.

* * *

“A rookie in second place? Does this mean there’s a possibility that he may be able to duplicate the feat of Benjie Paras?” I asked the numbers man.

Mangonon said yes, adding that Abueva’s team should maintain the same level of performance in the next two conferences to stand a chance of winning the plum.

In 1989, Paras, who was then playing for Shell, became the first and only PBA cager to win Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.

The Beast, as Abueva is called, ranks third overall in rebounds and steals, and holds a conference second-best five double doubles. Only Santos has posted more.

Abueva posted averages of 14.6 points,  10.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals.

Abueva’s former mentor at NLEX, Boyet Fernandez, can’t be prouder.

“I always knew Calvin’s brand of play would click in the PBA,” Fernandez said. “He deserves to be up there. Yes, he could duplicate the feat of 1989 MVP-ROY Benjie Paras. He can do it.”

* * *

Fallen boxing icon Manny Pacquiao described his knockout exactly the way local promoter Jun Sarreal had described it in a text message hours after last Sunday’s fight.

“When a boxer is knocked out, he may  see stars before he completely blacks out,” Sarreal said. “When he regains consciousness, most of the time he doesn’t remember what happened. He may ask what hit him, unaware that he is down on the floor.”

After looking for Buboy Fernandez when he came to, the first words uttered by Manny was, “What happened? Is the fight over?”

“Fighters like Manny never think of retiring, like my friend Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who wants another fight because for him, that’s big business,” Sarreal added.

* * *

According to Sarreal, he saw the knockout coming: “Manny’s camp had been too overconfident. Marquez came in at 143 pounds to maintain his speed, but he built up power. Manny, at 147, slowed down.

“It’s time for us Filipinos to ask for his retirement if we really care for him, never mind the money. We want him to stay healthy,” Sarreal said.

Pacquiao fan Bradford Martinez, whose family owns the Martinez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan, echoes Sarreal.

“It’s the end of the Pacman era,” he said.  “The changing of the guard has come.”

* * *

The day after the fight, I got an early-morning text message from People’s Journal sports editor Joe Antonio.

“Look at Pacman’s pictures in the front pages.  Hindi ba parang si Ninoy (Aguino) na nakadapa sa tarmac matapos barilin? (Doesn’t he look like Ninoy slumped on the tarmac after he was gunned down?),” Joe said.

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  • Antonio

    why not ask pacquiao to quit politics and other gigs, just concentrate on boxing… at 33 and going 34, i think he’s still capable of 2 to 3 mega fights if he will just focus himself to boxing. anyway, we admired him as a boxer, not a politician, not an actor, not a host, not even a preacher..

  • captainramius

    So Ms. Beth  back to PBA writing ?

    Perhaps its a lesson learned , sportswriters in this country seldom write against a very popular sports hero….while the support is of course needed we are all Filipinos… but toning down the hype and occult like following of Manny should have been done when the obvious facts were already in our face.

    For the record, the Netizens got it right majority said he will lose the fight.
    The sportswriters blinded by the adulation of the many… got it wrong.

    • CmdrAdobo

      Netizens said he will lose the fight? I dont agree. In fact the odds are in favor with Pacquiao.

      • captainramius

        Yes kindly check out the newsitem appearing in this paper on the eve of the fight someone did run a survey.

        The odds you are saying is the Vegas betting odds… yes he is ahead… but the foreign writers its a split 50-50.

        For the record I have been picking his opponents to beat him from the Pacmarquez 3 , Bradley fight and now the 4th installment.

        For the simple reason , there is not a person on earth who can do multiple roles and excel on all of them.  Jack of all trades master of none.  

      • CmdrAdobo

        survey where? 50-50 means, if you know math, undecided or no ‘majoirty’ in there.

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