Calvin Abueva closer than ever to first 'Best Player' award, but that's not his priority
Calvin Abueva has normed 17.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in just 27.9 minutes per game this conference. Jerome Ascano 

CALVIN Abueva shot down talk of the Best Player of the Conference award – for now, putting his focus solely on Alaska’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals campaign against Rain or Shine that unfolds on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces star already has one foot inside the door as far as the top individual plum in the midseason tournament is concerned after sustaining his solid play in the semifinals against Meralco.

Abueva hasn't won the award in his career, but made it clear his priority is leading the Aces to the Promised Land after two straight heartbreaks in the championship round, both at the hands of San Miguel Beer.

“Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa iniisip yun (BPC), kasi nag-struggle kami sa semis namin tapos itong finals, pang-third (straight) time na namin ‘to,” Abueva said in the pre-finals press con on Thursday at the PBA Café. “So syempre yung mindset namin nandun pa sa finals, kaya wala muna yun.”

[See After two failed trips to finals, Alaska looks to complete unfinished business]

Abueva has normed 17.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in just 27.9 minutes and is expected to emerge on top of the statistical points race – that comprises 40 percent of the criteria for the BPC award – with his rivals in the Top Five all falling by the wayside.

The rest of the criteria is voting – 30 percent from the media, 25% from the players, and five percent from the Commissioner’s office.

Abueva will welcome the award if and when he does get it.

“Sinabi ko nga sa inyo, once na binigay talaga sa’yo yun, syempre iga-grab mo ‘yun,” the former Rookie of the Year said with a smile.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos