CALVIN Abueva has gone back to beast mode on Saturday, just a day after being slapped with a hefty P20,000 fine for hitting Rain or Shine guard Jonathan Uyloan in the dying minutes of Game Four.
Standing just a shade above 6-1, Abueva towered over Rain or Shine’s beefy frontline of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan, posting his ninth double-double for the season after banging in 16 points and hauling down 11 rebounds to help Alaska grab a crucial 93-88 win in Game Five.
The victory gave the Aces a 3-2 series lead, moving them to within a win of returning to the Finals for the first time since capturing the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup championship under Luigi Trillo.
Abueva admitted losing his self-control in Game Four, prompting him to hit Uyloan in the stomach with 1:48 to go, leading to his ejection for a flagrant foul penalty 2 call.
“Sabi ko, coach (Alex Compton) nadala lang. Sabi niya, 'Sige bawi ka na lang,' kaya Game Five, ginawa ko best ko,” said the Alaska forward, who goes by the moniker 'The Beast.'
Although he failed to apologize to Uyloan during Game Five, Abueva showed goodwill when he helped Uyloan up during the second period after both fell to the floor during a rebound scramble.
“Okay lang. Tinayo ko naman siya (Uyloan) nung matumba siya,” he added.
As the series take a weeklong respite to give way to the New Year festivities, Abueva said they can’t afford to relax at this point, knowing that the Elasto Painters are capable of bouncing back in Game Six, which is set on January 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Two games pa ito, di dapat kami mangumpiyansa. Babawi sila nyan sigurado,” he said.
Alaska takes a day off on Sunday, but returns to practice on Monday.