ALASKA rookie Calvin Abueva swears it’s no joke going up against imports the size of Rain or Shine Bruno Sundov.
But 7-3 giants apparently hold no fear for 'The Beast.'
Fears that the super rookie's rebounding numbers would take a serious dent in a Commissioner's Cup tournament that features imports of unlimited height were immediately eased when Abueva grabbed 14 in the Aces' 83-81 win over Rain or Shine on Friday night.
“Mabigat yung import, mahirap itulak,” Abueva, who just turned 25 last February 4, shared of the Painters' import - incidentally the tallest to suit up in the league's 38-year history. “Ginamit ko na lang ang pagiging aggressive ko. Kahit malu-loose ball na, kinukuha ko pa rin.”
Abueva's aggressiveness was in full display during one play in the second quarter when he leaped high to chase down an offensive rebound and, falling to the sidelines, managed to bounce the ball off Ronnie Matias' body to give Alaska ball possession.
The former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian has also managed to shine in a lot of other ways, showing a decent touch from three-point range and constantly attacking from the wings behind his quick first step.
“Mahirap sa sistema namin, kasi ang laro ko 3 or 4. Malaking adjustment,” the 6-foot-1 Abueva told Spin.ph.
His offensive production wasn't as impressive as it was in the all-Filipino Philippine Cup, but he still made the two big plays to key a late fightback that changed the game's complexion.
First, he buried a three-pointer for his only field goal of the game, levelling the count at 81-all. Next he came out of nowhere to block a shot by Sundov and set up Cyrus Baguio for the game-winning bank shot at the buzzer.
Just another day at the office for 'The Beast.'