ALASKA'S flamboyant star Calvin Abueva has hit the “sophomore wall,” according to Aces coach Luigi Trillo.
In four games for Alaska this season, last season’s Rookie of the Year has seen all his averages from scoring to playing time go down amid a struggling 1-3 (win-loss) start by the Aces in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Abueva's playing time alone has dipped from an average of 26.4 minutes last season to 20.7 minutes, largely because 'The Beast' gets into foul trouble so often he failed to finish some games.
The former NCAA MVP fouled out during Alaska’s season-opening 74-87 loss to Rain or Shine in Davao and again failed to finish Alaska’s 111-114 overtime loss to Talk ‘N Text due to fouls.
Abueva is in fact averaging 5.2 fouls a game this season and Trillo believes his sophomore’s struggles early in the season has a lot to do with his eagerness to get things done right away.
“I think Calvin’s just too eager to help the team. But at this point, I also think Calvin has hit the sophomore wall,” Trillo told Spin.ph before the team’s practice on Tuesday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
A quick check revealed Abueva averages 9.2 points and 9.0 rebounds this season as opposed to the double-double averages of 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest he posted during the Philippine Cup last season.
Abueva’s propensity to foul out early this season provides a problem for the Aces going into the final period because they don’t have a guy who can provide the energy and hustle when needed.
“Obviously, everybody is excited to play him (Abueva),” noted Trillo. “But we’ve got to step back and find ways to get him to play again.”