CALVIN Abueva blamed fatigue for the missed free throws down the stretch that could’ve given Alaska a better chance to steal the game against Ginebra in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal matchup on Friday night.
With the Aces down by four, the star forward drew a foul from Japeth Aguilar while attempting a three-point shot with 8.3 seconds left but missed his first two charities and deliberately missed the third, wasting a chance to pull the Aces to within one point.
The Gin Kings held on for a 109-104 decision.
“Sablay eh, talagang pagod na,” Abueva admitted. “Ang layo ng hinabol namin para sa opportunity na manalo, yung free throw ‘di naman sa crucial, talagang bigay todo na eh, sumablay na.”
Justin Brownlee’s dagger trey that negated LaDontae Henton’s own three-pointer in the previous play also sucked the life out of the Aces, Abueva admitted.
“Naubos na (ang energy) dahil sa twenty points na hinabol naming down by one, tumira yung import ng boarding,” Abueva said. “‘Di natin alam talagang sa kanila talaga.”
Still, it was a gallant effort for 'The Beast,' who scattered 17 points, including nine in the payoff period, along with six boards, one assist, and one steal in 27 minutes as he led the Aces’ brave stand that fell short.
“Binigay pa rin natin ng todo, kinabahan nga sila,” the Aces star beamed.
And that was enough to impress Gin Kings coach Tim Cone.
“Abueva can just change the game,” the champion coach said.