ALASKA has finally snapped its skid and is looking to get a win streak going. But with preseason favorite Petron next on their schedule, the Aces will need all the help it can get.
Although PBA draft second pick Calvin Abueva put himself out of the discussion when he declared he would need a week's rest to recharge his batteries and recover from San Sebastian’s shock loss in the NCAA Final Four Monday, Alaska still wants to pull its ace from its sleeve at the soonest possible time.
Coach Luigi Trillo believes the Aces’ prized pick can immediately make an impact on the floor when he decides to suit up.
“If he’s ready, I’ll play him on Friday [against Petron]," said Trillo, whose team registered its first win of the season on Sunday via a 102-86 rout of Barako Bull.
"Of course, it’s a gut feel. If he plays well especially on the defensive end, I’ll let him stay in the game because we don’t really have that kind of a guy who just gets the rebound, a guy who can play and break down defenses as well.”
But Trillo said he has left the decision to Abueva.
Abueva, the 6-foot-1 NCAA superstar, saw his championship dream and a glorious ending to his college career dashed when the Letran Knights overcame the twice-to-beat Stags in the Final Four.
Still, Trillo is convinced a high-energy and highly-motivated player like Abueva can bounce back strong from the painful loss.
“Honestly, I’m excited for Calvin Abueva’s energy. He’s a game-changer,” Trillo told Spin.ph. “No doubt, Calvin can play multiple positions. He’s got a big future for this team.”
Abueva practiced with the Aces only thrice during the offseason, but Trillo said he’ll break in his prized rookie slowly although it depends on how well he could easily adapt to the team’s system.
Abueva may be an undersized big man, but his versatility can be one of his biggest assets as evidenced by his historic feat with the Stags this season, becoming the first player to lead a major college league in scoring, rebounding and assists in one season.