CALVIN Abueva admitted the ejection of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao and big man Beau Belga in the second half made things easier for him and the Alaska Aces in their 94-78 whipping of the Elasto Painters Monday for a 2-1 series lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The Alaska power forward pointed out Guiao’s absence at the sidelines and Belga’s non-presence on the court took its toll on Rain or Shine in the end.
“Mas gumaan yung paglalaro namin, lalo na nung nawala si coach Yeng saka yung isa rin nilang big man (Belga),” said Abueva, who used his athletic ability and will power to outplay and outhustle Rain or Shine’s remaining slotmen in JR Quinahan and Raymond Almazan in the second half.
Guiao was tossed out of the game with still more than eight minutes to go in the third period after incurring his second technical foul for continuous complaining about officiating.
Not long after, the 6-foot-5 Belga followed suit after likewise being assessed his second technical foul for arguing with game officials during a dead ball situation.
Though standing just a shade about 6-foot-1, the former Rookie of the Year came away with a league career-high 28 points on top of 14 rebounds to lead the Aces’ domination in Game 3.
Still, Abueva credited the team’s overall defense for preventing Rain or Shine from scoring in transition.
“Ginawa ko lang yung game ko dahil sinabi ko nman na babawi kami pero, focused lang namin yung depensa kasi na-limit namin yung opensa nila (Elasto Painters),” added the 25-year-old Abueva.
Alaska shoots for a commanding 3-1 lead on Christmas Day when the Aces clash with the Elasto Painters anew at the Mall of Asia Arena.