ILOILO – A mere exhibition couldn’t stop The Beast from being unleashed.
Calvin Abueva lived up to his moniker by flirting with a 40-30 in Gilas Pilipinas’ 157-141 beating at the hands of the Visayas selection in the last leg of the PBA All-Star week on Sunday night.
The Alaska superstar scattered 41 points on 19-of-45 shooting, 27 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block, against seven turnovers in almost 36 minutes on the court as he proved to be a silver lining for the Smart All-Star Nationals.
“Sipag lang … para mabigayan natin ng excitement yung Iloilo,” Abueva said on the morning after the game while waiting for the flight to Manila.
The 30-year-old pride of Angeles City, Pampanga admitted he had a conscious effort to deliver those gaudy numbers after coming up empty handed in the first two legs – losing to the Mindanao All-Stars in Digos, before surrendering to the national team as a member of the Luzon All-Stars in Batangas.
“Yung stats na yun talagang nakakapag-ano ng MVP, pero ang sa akin, gusto ko talaga manalo, kasi zero-three ako ngayon eh,” the 30-year-old cager said with a smile. “First time ko nag-zero-three, kaya yun, aggressive ako.”
Abueva is hoping to bounce back in future editions of the midseason spectacle, but for now, he’s looking forward to the short rest before returning to action for the Aces.
“Makakabawi naman eh, kung ganun pa rin ang lalaruin syempre,” the former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian said. “Ngayon, sobrang pagod talaga nangyari itong All-Star na ‘to. Yung last game na yun, binuhos ko na talaga yung game na yun para matapos na yung hirap tsaka matapos na rin yung out of town na ginawa namin.
“Pahinga ‘to, pahinga. Balik Alaska naman,” he added.