CALVIN Abueva’s shot at Philippine basketball history came down the wire.
Aware he was just a point away from reaching uncharted territory, Abueva raised his hand with the outcome of the game already a foregone conclusion, and asked for the ball from teammate Dexter Maiquez.
After receiving the baseball pass, the energetic forward dunked the ball with authority with a second remaining in San Sebastian’s 69-55 win over San Beda Monday night to become the first player in any of the country’s major cage leagues to finish as leader in in points, rebounds, and assists.
Tallying 23 points, 16 rebounds, and three assists, the 24-year-old Abueva finished the elimination round with averages of 20.1 points, 16.4 rebounds, and 6.5 assists.
Except for his runaway lead over Emilio Aguinaldo’s Cedric Happi Noube in the rebounding department, Abueva had a huge scare in both the scoring and assists categories.
He barely beat Letran’s Kevin Alas (20 points per game), and San Beda’s Baser Amer (6.5 assists) in scoring and assists with just one-tenth of a point lead.
“Masaya ako na nakamit ko yun, pero mas magiging masaya ako pag nadala ko ang team ko sa championship,” Abueva said after the game.
The unprecedented individual feat seemed in jeopardy as Abueva only had 10 points entering the final quarter.
But after taking over in the endgame with three triples, two free throws, and the emphatic dunk, Abueva achieved what no man has ever done before.
“Aware ako (sa achievement),” Abueva revealed. “Pero mas nag-focus talaga ako sa game namin as a team.”
He really had to carry the Stags on his shoulders following the early ejection of teammate Ronald Pascual, who was sent out for a disqualifying foul on Rome dela Rosa.
Now, time can only tell if he can translate his monster numbers in the pros, where he is bound to suit up for the Alaska Aces.
But for now, Abueva is just focused on trying to lead his team to its first title in three years.
“Mas pag-bubutihin ko pa, hindi lang para sa stats ko pero para mag-champion kami,” he said.
Abueva, no surprise, named Accel 3XVI NCAA Player of the Week following back-to-back explosive performances.
The 6-foot-2 Pampanga native earlier had 19 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, and two steals in the Stags’ 80-62 triumph over Perpetual Help last Thursday.