RAIN or Shine is bracing for a breakout performance from Calvin Abueva as it faces Alaska, seeking to move on the verge of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals crown on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. with the Elasto Painters taking on an Aces side that has seen its heart and soul in Abueva held to just 11.5 points on 36 percent, two assists, and one steal, although he has hauled down more rebounds at 8.5 with even more playing at 30.8 minutes in the first two games.
The frontrunner in the Best Player of the Conference race went into the series averaging 17.6 points on 45.2 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in almost 28 minutes per game.
“We’ve been able to prevent an explosion from Calvin Abueva,” Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “He’s making decent numbers, but at least the impact of his points is not the kind of points where it could create or shift momentum for their side.”
“Yung scoring niya parang hindi pa masyado ramdam,” he added. “Pagka talagang putok yung laro niya, ramdam mo yung energy niya sa game eh.”
That’s why Guiao is anticipating The Beast to finally be unleashed.
“Malamang, due siya for an impact game,” said the RoS coach, who doesn’t mind as long as Aces import Rob Dozier, who scattered 41 markers in the series, doesn’t heat up as well.
“We’ve been able to handle an explosive game from their import and survive it,” Guiao said. “And we feel kung mangyari man yun (Abueva explosion), wag lang magco-combine, kakayanin pa rin.”
A victory for the E-Painters will move them on the cusp of their second league title and a sweep of the Aces.
“Game Three is important for us because that can practically break their back,” Guiao said. “So it’s a huge psychological edge if we’re able to win.”