CALVIN Abueva felt refreshed in his first game back for Alaska, but his return couldn't save the Acs from falling to a 106-107 setback at the hands of TnT Katropa on Friday night.
Abueva announced his return by tallying 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Aces while shooting 8-of-16 from the field in his first game back after failing to show up for both Alaska and Gilas practices as he tended to what he referred to as ‘personal matter.’
His presence though, was not enough to stop the bleeding for the Aces, who remained winless in four outings in the season-ending meet and 12 overall dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Nakapag-refresh. Ganun ang laro, walang iniisip,” said the five-year veteran afterwards at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But the Katropa’s dazzling outside shooting, most especially from three-point range, made the big difference in the comeback win, according to Abueva.
TnT shot 47 percent from downtown (14-of-30) and 48 percent overall (41-of-86). The Katropa converted eight more three-point shots than the Aces (6-of-26).
“Suwerte sila, suwerte yung mga labas nilang tira,” said the Alaska star. “Binigay namin lahat, binigay namin yung tamang laro namin, pero suwerte talaga sila.”
Despite the loss, TnT coach Nash Racela acknowledged how Abueva’s return energized the Aces.
“He brought the fight back to Alaska. It was really hard for us,” said Racela following the win.
“I actually talked to him (Abueva) kanina (before the game). Sabi ko nga huwag ng maglaro,” joked the TnT mentor.