FOR Michael Dunigan, his expected match-up against controversial forward Calvin Abueva is just like another day in the office as Ginebra tangles with Alaska in the final elimination playdate of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday.
“I know he (Abueva) still gets under people’s skin, but we just have to come out there and play for 48 minutes. I look at him like anybody else, one player can’t win it,” Dunigan told Spin.ph two days before the highly-awaited meeting between the rival teams at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dunigan’s statement came in the wake of the endgame skirmish that marred the game between Talk ‘N Text and Alaska on Sunday involving Abueva and temperamental import Ivan Johnson.
The two engaged in a series of taunting and thrash talking for most of the second half, which nearly escalated into an endgame melee as both teams were heading to the hallway of the Big Dome leading to their respective dugouts.
But Dunigan isn’t about to immerse himself thinking about Abueva as he’s more concerned about helping Ginebra get a win as a loss could have severe implications in the team’s playoffs campaign.
A win by Ginebra could possibly push the league’s most popular team as high as the sixth seededing and a best-of-three quarterfinal showdown with defending champion and third-seed Purefoods starting on Friday.
A loss however, could push the Kings to as low as No. 7 and a twice-to-beat disadvantage against No. 2 Talk ‘N Text.
For Alaska, a win is imperative as a loss could possibly mean outright elimination owing to an inferior quotient.
Ginebra currently sits at No. 6 with an even 5-5 win-loss record, followed by Alaska in a tie with Globalport and Barako in seventh to ninth spots with similar 4-6 slates.
Dunigan vowed to take the lead and be aggressive for the Kings as they face the back-against-the-wall Aces.
“I’m not really sure where they (Aces) stand, but once we’re in the game, we just need to learn to stay aggressive and not back down because it is more of a mental game,” Dunigan said.
The 25-year-old import played like a man possessed on Saturday, banging in 16 of his 22 points in the second half while grabbing 18 rebounds and adding five blocks to help Ginebra register a 96-81 demolition of Globalport in Lucena.