ALASKA rode another beast of a performance from Calvin Abueva as it drubbed Barangay Ginebra, 87-69, to remain unbeaten since the super rookie joined them in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
Abueva, the second overall pick in this year’s draft, missed out on a third double-double in as many games as a pro, as he had a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds on top of three assists and one steal for the Aces, who extended their winning streak to four games after starting the conference with two losses.
The win also gained Alaska a share of second place with Rain or Shine.
The former San Sebastian Stag, who led the NCAA in scoring, rebounds, and assists last season, provided the spark off the bench right in the first period where he pumped in nine markers to give his team the lead which they protected throughout.
“He’s a game-changer,” Aces coach Luigi Trillo said. “When he comes in, you really feel nakaka-intimidate siya, and to do it at the four-spot is amazing for a guy who’s just six-foot-one.”
It was not just a one-man show as Jayvee Casio, Cyrus Baguio, RJ Jazul, and Sonny Thoss all delivered substantial numbers for the Aces, who dealt the Kings their third straight loss.
“It’s a balanced scoring attack. We’re the lowest in in the league in terms of assists, but we moved the ball well this time,” said Trillo, whose wards totalled 16 assists.
The Kings came closest at 45-51, after two free throws from Mike Cortez midway through the third quarter, before everything went the Aces way as the latter established another sizeable lead that grew to 20 points after a Jazul teardrop with less than five minutes in the game.
“We’re lucky Ginebra was not at their best right now,” Trillo said. “The chemistry is not there, but we know they’re capable.”
“Walang fluidity yung offense namin,” admitted Ababou, who topscored for the Kings in his first game back from a pulled hamstring injury. “Siguro ilang games pa, makukuha na namin yung proper jelling ng team.”
Mark Caguioa, the league’s reigning MVP, shot just 3-of-10 from the field to tally 12 points, while LA Tenorio chipped in 10 markers in his first game against his former squad.
ALASKA (87) - Abueva 19, Casio 16, Baguio 14, Jazul 12, Thoss 12, Hontiveros 5, Espinas 4, Baracael 2, Dela Cruz 2, Reyes 1, Eman 0
GINEBRA (69) - Ababou 14, Caguioa 12, Tenorio 10, Maierhofer 7, Mamaril 6, Cortez 6, Raymundo 5, Ellis 4, Wilson 3, Jensen 2, Helterbrand 0
Quarterscores: 25-22, 46-38, 64-52, 87-69