Hotshots’ playoff-brilliant Abueva is week’s best
Magnolia was taking a gamble when it brought in Calvin Abueva before the season, and so far, the Hotshots have proven themselves right.
Abueva is giving the Hotshots everything that they were looking for when they made the deal with Phoenix—energy, toughness and hustle—as Magnolia has made a killing in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, after a sweep of Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals and then having “The Beast” take over down the stretch in Game 1 of its semifinals matchup with Meralco for an 88-79 win on Sunday.
With that solid run of individual brilliance, Abueva was the hands down choice as Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps’ Player of the Week for the period of Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.
During that stretch, the 33-year-old forward averaged 16.5 points and 13.0 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the floor.
Abueva was a dominant force in the Hotshots’ 96-86 closeout win against the Elasto Painters in Game 2 of their series as he finished with 20 points and pulled down 19 rebounds.
Three days later, the leading candidate for the Best Player of the Conference award bucked foul trouble and engineered a 20-3 run coming home as the Hotshots erased a six-point deficit to take an 83-72 lead with about three minutes left in their series-opener against the Bolts.
Abueva capped the telling run with a slam dunk as he scored seven of his total 13 output in the fourth quarter.
“Calvin adds toughness. Our system is tailor-fit for him, that’s why we took him in and that’s why he hasn’t had a hard time adjusting,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, who had to give up guard Chris Banchero to Phoenix.
Apart from Abueva, others considered for the weekly honor handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat are Magnolia teammates Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang, and the TNT Tropang Giga trio of Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro.
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