Calvin Abueva scored 6 crucial points in the homestretch to lift Magnolia over Phoenix Super LPG, 80-73, in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The 33-year old Abueva, who was acquired by the Hotshots during the offseason for a package centered on veteran guard Chris Banchero, led his new squad with a double-double of 26 points and 10 boards to go along with 3 assists in 37 minutes of play. The one-time Fuelmaster shot 8-of-14 from the floor and 9-of-15 from the stripe.
“We tried to lower the score, we tried to limit them possession per possession especially in the fourth quarter,” said Hotshots coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.
“Nalimit namin ang field goal percentage, especially ‘yung players nila like (Matthew) Wright, (Jason) Perkins and (Vic) Manuel,” he added.
Victolero was particularly impressed with the debuting Abueva’s tenacity on the defensive end.
“Talagang bagay siya sa amin. Sa sistema, sa tinatakbo naming scheme, sa depensa. Especially sa enegry niya sa pressure defense namin at ‘yung rebounding namin,” stressed the one-time PBA champion mentor. “But of course, tulong tulong with the other players. It’s a team effort.”
Paul Lee backstopped ‘The Beast’ with 21 points while Mark Barroca added 7. Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang and Rome dela Rosa chipped in 6 markers apiece.