IT has been only a month and a half since Calvin Abueva made his debut in the pros and already he has been cited twice as Player of the Week.
The rookie nicknamed 'The Beast' continued to deliver monster numbers for Alaska in leading the Aces to two straight victories in the PBA Philippine Cup this week alone.
The performances earned the former San Sebastian star the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period covering November 26 to December 2, his second citation after being honored during the October 22 to 28 period, when he averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds.
The No. 2 pick overall in the rookie draft has come up with even bigger numbers this time, with averages of 20.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocked shot in Alaska's victories over Meralco and GlobalPort.
More than the numbers, it is the do-it-all, play-through-pain attitude that coach Luigi Trillo likes most about their 24-year-old rookie.
"You've just got to admire his efforts on both ends of the court," said Trillo. "He has been the recipient of many hard picks, hard fouls, elbows and what-have-you, but he seldom loses his focus, never uses those tactics against him as an excuse for letting up on his game."
What makes the recent wins more impressive is that Abueva is coming off an injury break after suffering from a nasal infection widely believed to have been aggravated by a hit in the face from Air21's Rob Reyes last November 14.
When Abueva returned, it was very clear he wanted to make up for lost time.
In an 88-85 win over Meralco last Wednesday, Abueva reset his career highs with 20 points and 18 rebounds and also played crucial defense down the stretch by preventing the Bolts' Macmac Cardona and Cliff Hodge from putting up clear shots with the game still too close to call.
On Saturday against GlobalPort, the undersized, 6-foot-1 forward again booked a new career-best with 21 points, adding 12 rebounds, and providing the lift when Alaska was being threatened after nearly blowing a 14-point fourth quarter lead.
Those victories arrested Alaska's four-game slide, improved its overall win-loss record to 7-6 and pulled it alongside Meralco in joint sixth spot.
Abueva and the Aces battle Petron Blaze in their last elimination-round match on Wednesday.