Calvin Abueva gets last laugh over CJ Perez in ‘battle of the beasts’
Phoenix forward Calvin Abueva flexed his muscles in front of CJ Perez after drawing a foul from Columbian’s top overall pick Wednesday night.
The game between the Fuel Masters and the Dyip was tagged as the “Battle of the Beasts” but Abueva wanted everyone to know there is only one of them.
“Sa akin naman okay naman yung pinakita niya. Yung last game nila 26 points tapos ngayon 10 points,” Abueva told reporters. “Parang sa akin, kung kami pagbabasehan, malayo agwat,”
(For me, he’s doing okay. Last game, he had 26 points, this game 10 points. For me, if you compare the two of us, the disparity is huge.)
Fair enough considering Abueva has already been in the league for seven seasons while Perez has just played his second game in the pros.
The 30-year-old Abueva led Phoenix with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals while Perez collected 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Not a lot of difference in numbers but Abueva had the final say after the Fuel Masters came away with the victory to improve to their best start in franchise history at 3-0.
“Ang sa akin lang, I want to win the game and hindi matchups lang pag-uusapan, ito yung game na mananalo kayo, hindi yung ilang points siya, ilang points ako,” Abueva said.
(For me, I want to win the game and not just focus on match-ups and how many points I scored or he scored.)
There were instances in the game where Abueva and Perez matched up against each other. There were also times where the two appeared to jaw at one another.
Abueva stressed it’s just part of the game.
“Wala namang personalan. Sabi ko nga i-improve mo pa yung sarili mo sa laro mo. Ako hindi ko naman masa-suggest na ganito gawin mo kasi magkalaban kami sa court pero ang akin lang, sa labas kapatid turing ko sa kanya. Walang personalan,” said Abueva.
(It’s nothing personal. I even told him to further improve his game. I can’t give him suggestions on what he has to do because we’re opponents on the court but off the court, I treat him as my brother so it’s nothing personal.)
Perez has been drawing comparisons to Abueva since his early college days at San Sebastian. He played for the Stags a year after Abueva had maxed out his playing eligibility.
Perez then, transferred to Ateneo before ending up in Lyceum, which he led to back-to-back NCAA Finals appearances.
Abueva admitted he sees his college self in Perez but added the former Lyceum star shouldn’t be content.
“Nung college nakikita ko pero wag siyang maging kuntento sa nilalaro niya ngayon. I-push niya pa para mas high level pa yung galawan niya sa court kasi rookie pa lang eh. Marami tayong naiisip sa rookie pero i-improve mo muna yung sarili mo sa pro bago ka mag-high level,” he said.
(I see my college self in him but he shouldn’t be satisfied with how he’s playing. He must keep pushing himself to be at a higher level because he’s still a rookie. We can think whatever we want about him but he still has to improve himself.)
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