CALVIN Abueva believes it’s imperative for Phoenix to keep on winning as many games in the early half of its PBA Philippine Cup campaign.
He knows the going is bound to get tough once the Fuel Masters go up against some of the league’s giants led by defending champion San Miguel Beer.
“Yung mga nakakalaban namin kasing level pa lang namin sa laro, hindi pa totally like San Miguel, Ginebra, Magnolia. Siyempre mga top team yun,” said Abueva shortly after Phoenix notched a fifth straight win after edging NLEX, 83-82.
“Ang point dun kailangan naming manalo dito sa mga naunang games namin, kasi pagdating doon baka ano pa ang mangyari,” he added. “Pinu-puwesto lang namin yung sarili namin sa quarters.”
Abueva played a huge part in stretching the best-ever start in franchise’s history to 5-0, coming through with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He scored eight in the third quarter when he led the Fuel Masters back after trailing by as many as 11 points.
But he saved his best for last when he blocked the game-winning attempt of Bong Galanza to save the day for Phoenix.
Abueva said it was all instinct on his part as the Fuel Masters were expecting veteran Larry Fonacier to take the final shot.
“Nag-help lang ako dahil naiwanan yung teammate ko,” he said of the defensive play. “Nalibre si Galanza kaya nag-force na akong mag-help kaysa sa maka-shoot pa.”