CALVIN Abueva admitted Alaska was simply outplayed by San Mig Super Coffee, whose brick wall defense was too much to bear for the Aces as their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title defense ended on Saturday.
The Aces failed to get anything from their big men led by Sonny Thoss, Gabby Espinas, and Abueva, who were held to a combined seven points by the Mixers during their sudden-death game Saturday for a berth in the semifinals of the mid-season tournament.
Abueva himself was held scoreless in Alaska’s 79-65 loss and averaged just 5.3 points in the best-of-three series on an abysmal 29.2 percent field goal shooting.
He also averaged 5.0 fouls per game in the series and spent a lot of time engaging Rafi Reavis and Alex Mallari in some verbal skirmishes during the do-or-die Game Three.
“Nabigla kami sa interior defense nila. Nagkulang kami kaya ganun, sawi,” `The Beast’ told Spin.ph. “Mahirap ang nangyari (in the series). Nasilat kami at ang dami nilang (Mixers) in-adjust para tapalan yung mga big men namin lalo na `yung import namin, kaya ang nangyari na-rattle kami.”
The league’s No. 2 pick overall in the 2012 rookie draft also lauded the Mixers for playing with grit and courage despite entering the playoffs with injuries to import James Mays, James Yap, Marc Pingris, and rookie guard Justin Melton.
“Di porket maraming injury sa kanila, eh, di nila ininda yun kaya nakapanalo sila. Tingin ko, para sa kanila itong panalo sa series,” he said.
Alaska could have finished off San Mig's bid for a third straight league championship last week in Game Two of the series. But the Aces blew a 12-point advantage, allowing Tim Cone’s charges to uncork a pivotal 16-0 run in the final period on the way to a 70-65 victory.
“Nung Game One na nanalo kami, yung preparation namin the next day, di namin nagawa,” related the 26-year-old wingman.
The former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian said he intends to take a break before thinking of the team’s next title quest in the season-ending Governors Cup next month.
“Kailangang magpahinga muna para ma-refresh,” he said.