ALASKA coach Luigi Trillo is convinced Calvin Abueva remains a deadly weapon for the Aces in the playoffs despite the inconsistent performances the energetic swingman had during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’s eliminations.
Abueva’s stats in the import-spiced conference has dipped to career-lows of 6.4 points, 5.4 rebounds on just 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
But the 6-foot-1 forward’s dexterity on defense owing to his ability to defend bigger players or faster, wily guards could be his trump card in the Aces’ title-retention bid this conference.
“Calvin has given us the extra weapon because he can defend Joe Devance, PJ Simon or James Yap,” Trillo told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
The reigning PBA Coach of the Year, however, has had to constantly remind his prized forward to channel his energy the right way.
Abueva averaged close to four fouls during the first seven games of the elimination round, reducing the former San Sebastian star to a mere spectator during the crucial moments of each game.
“Calvin’s just got to settle in. He’s got to figure it (how to channel his energy) out because sometimes, he comes in (to the game) overly excited,” explained the Alaska mentor, whose team opened the short quarterfinal series with an 86-77 win against bitter rival San Mig on Monday night.
“He doesn’t have to go 200 miles per hour every time. But there are certain parts of the game he can still improve on,” he added.
'The Beast' finished Game One with a near double-double of 12 points and eight rebounds, while taking turns hounding Devance, Simon and even Yap at different points during Game One.
The 6-foot-7 Devance, six inches taller than Abueva, finished with just nine points on four-of-11 shooting, while Simon added 10, going just 4-of-10 from the field.
But Yap, the two-time league MVP, struggled the most in Game One after going just 5-of-17 from the field overall. He finished with 12 points in 33 minutes of action.
Game Two is set Wednesday with the Aces going for the kill against the Mixers.