LOUIE Alas is confident Phoenix now has what it takes to get to the PBA playoffs following the acquisition of Calvin Abueva in a blockbuster trade.
Since acquiring the Barako Bull franchise in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup, Phoenix came close to making the quarterfinals but always fell a tad short.
Now Alas hopes Abueva's rebounding and scoring, as well as the other intangibles the 'Beast' brings to a game, can get the Fuel Masters over the hump.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanya, one possession na lang kami pang-playoffs na, siguro naman ang worth mo is more than one possession,” said Alas of Abueva, who was acquired in a trade with Alaska for Karl Dehesa and a 2019 first-round pick.
Alas said Abueva’s famed rebounding alone can get Phoenix several extra possessions and scoring opportunities.
“Andami mong rebounds na nakukuha na makaka-generate sa amin ng extra possession. We just have to be careful with these possessions. More than that (possession), baka maka-playoffs kami,” said Alas.
Abueva attended Phoenix’s tune-up game against NLEX on Wednesday, but the enigmatic small forward didn't join the team’s practices until Thursday.
Alas expressed confidence Abueva will be able to apadt to Phoenix's system quickly in time for the Governors’ Cup which opens on August 17.
“Tingin ko hindi ganun kahirap. Hindi naman complicated ‘yung ginagawa ko. ‘Yung defense ni coach Alex, almost the same. ‘Yung opensa lang kasi hybrid ‘yung kay coach Alex, motion ‘yung sa amin,” said Alas.