Phoenix overcomes NLEX in Calvin Abueva’s return

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MANILA, Philippines — Calvin Abueva had a triumphant return, helping Phoenix survive NLEX, 114-110, in the PBA Philippine Cup Monday night at AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.

Playing in just his first game in 16 months, Abueva made up for lost time, posting 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

“I really prepared hard heading into my first game,” Abueva said in Filipino.

The 32-year-old Pampanga native capped off his sterling performance with a timely basket that put the Fuel Masters ahead for good, 110-108, with only 42.4 ticks to go.

Justin Chua sank four free throws in the final 13.7 seconds to clinch Phoenix’s fourth win in six outings.

Jason Perkins also chalked up a double-double for the Fuel Masters with 20 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out with still 1:19 remaining.

Matthew Wright topscored 28 points while Chua added 19 as Phoenix erased a double-digit deficit in the third period.

NLEX dropped its fifth game in six stints despite drawing big production from Raul Soyud, who delivered 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the field, including a perfect 11-of-11 shooting from the two-point area.

Road Warriors guard Kiefer Ravena finished with 18 points and 10 assists while JR Quiñahan and Kevin Alas scored 18 and 15 points, respectively.

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