ALASKA desperately needs a victory Calvin Abueva would do anything just to get one.
Even to the extent of playing mind games and getting the ire of Kia import Geron Johnson.
Abueva took Johnson out of his game late in the Aces match against the Picanto as they sustained their late surge in the PBA Governors Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
'The Beast' hounded Johnson in the fourth quarter just when the Aces found themselves trailing, 77-67, and succeeded in taking the prolific import out of his psyche.
While Johnson had 10 of his game-high 39 points in the final quarter, the Kia import failed to get his game going in the stretch just when the Picantos needed him.
Abueva finished with a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds in the Aces' third straight win (3-6) to keep the team alive in the race for the remaining quarterfinals berth.
"Hindi ko alam," Abueva replied when asked if he felt he got under the skin of Johnson, who was 7 of 14 from three-point range, had nine rebounds and seven assists, but committed eight turnovers and five personal fouls.
"Basta ako ginagawa ko yung A-game ko, grab the rebounds, and get the points para makakuha kami ng momentum," he said.
"Lumamang na lang kami nung fourth quarter, doon lang lumabas yung energy namin."
Kia coach Chris Gavina admitted Johnson lost his cool in the endgame with Abueva on him.
"He (Johnson) accepted some of the blame which kind of sway the game at the end," said Gavina.
"I wouldn't say that it dictated the outcome of the game, but it was a major factor where he loses his man because he doesn't get a call because of Calvin."
The Kia mentor reserved his compliment to Abueva, saying he was in ‘awe of his performance.’ "I got to tip off my hats to him (Calvin). If he wants to play, he deserves his monicker of 'The Beast,' said Gavina of the Alaska star.