CEBU — Calvin Abueva played down his individual effort, instead focusing on Gilas Pilipinas’ team performance in the 125-112 win over the Visayas selection in their PBA All-Star game on Sunday night.
The national team’s energy guy lived up to expectations, pouring in all but five of his game-high 26 points in the second half in less than 20 minutes of action overall off the bench.
But it was fellow shock trooper Terrence Romeo who won the Cloudfone-MVP award after he conspired with 'The Beast' in pulling Gilas from an early 15-point deficit.
Still, Abueva focused on their team performance.
“First quarter, second quarter, nandun yung energy pero wala yung effort na kailangan namin ipakita,” the Alaska superstar said. “Pero nung third at fourth quarters na, nandun yung effort at energy tapos nakukuha na namin kung saan dapat yung puwesto namin at kung sino yung aatake at titira.”
“Ganda ng kinalabasan,” he added in an interview with News5's Lyn Olavario before the team had dinner after the game. “Sana magtuloy-tuloy ito hanggang Seaba.”
Abueva, however, knows it will take more time for the 12-man lineup to jell as a more cohesive unit — even after playing in three All-Star games with three different teams.
“Kumbaga twenty-four kami nag-eensayo kaya hindi mo naman masasabay sabay yung first five,” Abueva explained. “Siyempre magkakaiba-iba yung laro sa tatlong venue tapos dito yung last. Para sa amin, ito yung pinakamaganda para sa Seaba.”
But Gilas has already showed its potential even without naturalized Andray Blatche.
“Ngayon, wala pa nga si Andray, kumpiyansa na kami, paano pa kaya kung nandiyan na siya?” Abueva said. “Dodoble pa yung kumpiyansa namin.”