Coach Chito Victolero admitted the foul troubles of Calvin Abueva affected the team’s rotation, but he is happy that everyone stepped up.
Abueva already had three fouls late in the second quarter. Still, Abueva delivered in the clutch as he finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and two steals in Magnolia’s 88-79 win over Meralco in the series opener on Sunday despite nursing five fouls in the fourth period.
Victolero said Abueva, who played for 20 minutes in the game, was determined to play in the final period.
“It’s hard for us kasi ‘yung rotation ko, naapektuhan dahil foul trouble si Calvin,” said Victolero. “But the way na tuminigin si Calvin sa akin nung fourth quarter, gustong gusto niya maglaro eh. Sabi ko, bahala na basta ingatan lang niya.”
Ian Sangalang and four others score in double figures for Magnolia.
“At least malaking tulong. Nakakuha siya ng ilang rebounds, nakakuha kami ng energy sa kanya sa opensa at depensa.”
Victolero also hailed the contributions of the other players who had additional minutes with Abueva saddled with fouls.
Ian Sangalang was the biggest player who stepped up as he scored 18 points and eight rebounds. Victolero also hailed Rome Dela Rosa, Aris Dionisio, and Jackson Corpuz for also stepping up with Abueva on the bench.
“Iba rin talaga kapag nandoon si Calvin. Good thing, sila Ian at ibang players, nag-step up nung wala siya. Sabi ni Ian nung fourth quarter, start ng fourth quarter, atin ‘to. We believe on that. We stayed together and we worked hard together on defense. At least, nakuha namin ang Game 1,” said Victolero.
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