PBA: Magnolia rolling but more work awaits; Calvin Abueva back | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Magnolia rolling but more work awaits; Calvin Abueva back

/ 11:32 PM December 23, 2023

Calvin Abueva Magnolia PBA


MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia may have taken a big step in its championship bid after securing a twice-to-beat advantage but the Hotshots know that they still have a lot of work to do.

“That’s what I talked about in my pre-game talk. Converge will play like it’s do-or-die and our goal was to take the advantage. It’s a big thing for us because all our hard work from the preseason to now has been rewarded with this incentive but our goal doesn’t end there,” said Victolero in Filipino after their 88-80 win over also-ran Converge on Saturday.


“We want to achieve something at this conference and we’ll work harder to achieve that goal.”


The Hotshots have been on a tear since the preseason, where they pulled off an 11-0 sweep of the PBA On Tour.

They continued their winning ways in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, cruising to a 7-0 start. Magnolia is currently 9-1 on top of the standings with only a game left in the elimination round.

The real battle, however, awaits in the playoffs.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero PBA

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“This is not the end, this is only the start and we want to prepare hard mentally and physically for the playoffs.”

“It’s a different story. We know that. There were lots of top seeds who didn’t make the Finals and there were sixth seeds or lower that went all the way and won the championship. It’s all about the proper mindset for the playoffs.

Fortunately for Magnolia, Calvin Abueva just returned after undergoing surgery to remove hemorrhoids.


“He adds to the energy, rebounding and toughness. We wanted Calvin to play this game so he can feel the real battle again,” said Victolero of Abueva, who checked in with less than a minute left in the first quarter.

“Although he had limited minutes, somehow, he’s getting the timing because that’s what was gone from him. He hasn’t played five-on-five in months so at least he had a good start heading to the playoffs,” he added.

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Abueva finished with six points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block in just 12 minutes of action in his first game back for the Hotshots.

TAGS: Calvin Abueva, Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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