ALASKA’s embarrassing 51-point blowout loss to Rain or Shine just a week ago is fast turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the team.
Calvin Abueva pointed out the 123-72 setback has somehow fired up the Aces in their PBA Governors Cup campaign after winning for the second straight game with a 79-66 thrashing of Barangay Ginebra Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena that formalized their entry in the quarterfinals.
“Naging malaking bagay sa amin yun (51-point loss), kasi naging agresibo pa rin kaming manalo,” he said after scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half against the Kings.
Since the team’s worst loss in franchise history, Alaska has beaten the top two teams in the season-ending conference after turning back defending champion San Mig Super Coffee followed by the win over Ginebra.
“Na-move na namin sa isang tabi yun (51-point loss). Wala na kaming pakialam sa lamang na 51 points ng Rain or Shine. Basta go lang kami sa pag-laro,” said the 26-year-old former NCAA Most Valuable Player.
The Aces did just that against the Kings as Abueva served as Alaska’s energizer bunny, scoring at will inside while challenging and reminding import Henry Walker to lead the team in the face of the Kings’ furious third quarter rally.
“Siyempre, sa import din namin, di lang naman siya pinapahirapan, eh kami rin. Pero mino-motivaate namin siya (Walker) na as import, mag-pursige ka pa, kapag masipag ka, mas naisa-sama mo kami,” Abueva said.
With an even 4-4 record, the Aces will try to close out the eliminations with a victory over Barako Bull on Sunday.