CALVIN Abueva was perhaps, the most jeered player during Alaska's PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series with San Mig Coffee.
But in the end, the energetic rookie still managed to stay sharp and focused in helping the Aces end the Mixers' title reign following the series-clinching 83-78 Game Four victory on Saturday night.
“Masaya, dahil mahirap itong pinagdaanan namin papunta sa Finals,” said the Alaska rookie forward.
The one-time NCAA MVP was out of sync during the first three quarters after running into foul trouble. But come the pivotal fourth, Abueva took it upon himself to deliver, especially with walking-wounded import Robert Dozier having a bad offensive game.
“Medyo nahirapan ako nung unang three quarters dahil nga sa fouls, pero nung fourth quarter, nagka-kumpiyansa din ako nung maka-shoot,” he added.
Abueva, a top candidate for the Rookie of the Year award this season, made 12 of his 14 points in the final period, including two three-pointers. His second three-point shot shattered a 73-all deadlock with about four minutes to go.
With Alaska the first team in the Finals, Abueva said he is preparing himself for another tough, physical battle, regardless of which between Ginebra and Talk 'N Text wins the deciding Game Five of their own semifinal playoff.
“Pareho naman physical ang dalawa,” said 'The Beast.' “Basta maghahanda na ako sa physical na laro sa Finals.”