Calvin Abueva admits championship poise the key in Alaska's stunning come-from-behind win
Calvin Abueva says Alaska's championship poise allowed the Aces to rally back from a 22-point deficit and steal Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup finals over San Miguel.  Jerome Ascano

EXPERIENCE is still the best teacher.

Calvin Abueva said the championship poise he and Alaska earned two years ago played a big part in the Aces’ huge Game One win over June Mar Fajardo and the San Miguel Beermen Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Abueva was all hustle and energy in the come-from-behind 88-82 overtime win that gave the Aces 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The undersized power forward finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the conference..

“Naka-experience na ako ng Finals. Pumasok sa akin yun kaya yun ang mindset ko, yung maglaro with best energy sa game. Ito na yung Finals kaya kailangan mo na ibuhos ang lahat,” said the player they referred to as ‘The Beast’, who played a key figure in Alaska’s 2013 Commissioner’s Cup title conquest during his rookie year in the league.

The 6-foot-1 Abueva also admitted the flagrant foul penalty 1 charged against him during the first quarter fired him up more when he returned to the court.

The former NCAA MVP was slapped with the penalty for planting an elbow in the face of San Miguel rookie forward David Semerad.

“Mas lalong nag-improve yung laro ko dun (flagrant foul 1 call). Nilabas ko yung gigil ko kaya nung second quarter, nakapag-cool down ako at gumanda yung laro ko,” said Abueva.

While Alaska may have won the series opener, Abueva said he doesn’t intend to slow down a bit, knowing the 1-0 advantage in the title series is no safe cushion.

“Di pa tapos ito. Marami pang game na dadaanan at gagawin kaya focus lang at stay humble,” he added.

Game Two of the Finals series is set on Friday also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava