CALVIN Abueva guaranteed an Alaska victory in Game Two of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series against Purefoods on Sunday.
The Aces moved on the brink of elimination after losing by a mile, 120-86, to the sizzling Hotshots in the opener of the best-of-three series on Friday night.
But Abueva assured the Aces will bounce back once they figure out how to stop Purefoods’ success under the triangle offense of coach Tim Cone.
“Konting adjustment sa (depensa sa) triangle (offense) nila, pero makukuha namin Game Two sigurado,” the Aces star forward told Spin.ph after the game.
The Hotshots shot the lights out as they made 46 of their 76 shots from the field for a tremendous 61 percent clip —unforgivable numbers for a vaunted defensive team like the Aces.
“Naunahan lang kami siguro kasi nung nag-zone kami nung una, pumutok yung labas nila,” Abueva said, recalling the Aces were on the back foot early and never quite recovered.
Another major factor for the Hotshots’ early blast was Abeuva sustaining a mild ankle sprain in the first quarter, leaving the energizer bunny on the bench the entire second quarter and scoreless in six minutes at the half.
Abueva, though, returned to play at the start of the second half and scored four points, but failed to finish the game after feeling pain on his ankle once again.
“Nung bumalik akong third quarter, hindi talaga kinaya eh kasi masakit talaga. Pero babawi tayo sa next game.”
Damion James also sustained an injury after an accidental kick at the back of calf early in the fourth quarter.
Aces coach Alex Compton was non-committal on the status of the injured players going to Game Two on Sunday.
“I don’t force hurting guys to play,” Compton said. “Hopefully they’ll be okay and they’ll get some treatment.”