ALASKA rookie sensation Calvin Abueva is ready to shake off his injury and rough it up with Petron’s big and physical frontline when the Aces go up against the Boosters in a highly-anticipated PBA Governors' Cup match-up at the Philsports Arena on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Abueva managed to join the team practice on Thursday as a back injury suffered in a loss to San Mig Coffee on Tuesday wasn’t as serious as initially assessed. (For full story, see Alaska trainer fears bone contusion as Abueva's back suddenly stiffen)
“Oo, lalaro na ako bukas (Friday). Maganda din nakapag-pahinga ako kahapon. So ngayon okay na, mapapasabak na bukas,” Abueva told Spin.ph after Alaska’s practice on Thursday.
Coach Luigi Trillo said the undersized power forward out of San Sebastian may not be 100 percent fit for the match against league-leading Petron, but was given the green light to play by team doctors.
“I don’t know if he’s (Abueva) 100 percent but knowing Calvin, even if he could play with one leg, he would (play),” said Trillo. “I thought it would be worse than we thought, but the findings are okay, so nothing major.”
The former NCAA MVP said he still feels a slight pain in his back, but added he’s willing to play through it since the team is fighting for a top four spot in the quarterfinals.
“Meron pang konting pain, pero tiis-tiis na lang so konting therapy before the game,” added the 'Beast.'
Abueva is averaging 7.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steal in the team’s first six games in the season-ending conference.
He faces a rough day at the office on Friday when he goes up against a tall and beefy Petron frontline led by top overall rookie pick June Mar Fajardo, MVP statistical leader Arwind Santos, Doug Kramer, and import Elijah Millsap.