CALVIN Abueva’s shot at basketball history will go down to the wire with only a fraction of a point likely to decide the outcome.
Ian Sangalang, Abueva’s San Sebastian teammate who will likely take the MVP crown away from him, remains the biggest obstacle to Abueva's bid to become the first player in any of the country’s major basketball leagues to lead a season in scoring, rebounds, and assists.
The Stags' triple-double machine, who averages 20 points per game, still trails Sangalang by two-tenths of a point with only two games left to play for the Stags in the eliminations - they face University of Perpetual Help on Thursday and San Beda on Monday.
Petron’s rookie coach Olsen Racela can attest to Abueva’s dream season, having been a regular NCAA TV analyst this year. And he knows how big such an achievement can be.
“If he’s aware of the feat, he’ll definitely try to grab the opportunity," said the former San Miguel star playmaker. "But I think he’s more concerned with helping his team win the championship.”
The 6-1 Abueva, who was picked second overall by Alaska Milk in the last PBA rookie draft, already leads the league in rebounding with 16.4 per game and assists with 6.7 a contest.
The rebounding department seems to be a lock for Abueva, whose closest pursuer is Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Cameroonian center Cedric Happi Noube, who averages 12.8 caroms per game.
San Beda’s Davao-born playmaker Baser Amer is the only one with a chance to catch him in the assists race with his 6.3-assist norm.
The outstanding numbers, Racela said, show how good Abueva has been in his college career.
“It just shows he’s ready for the pros and he’s not just the best basketball player in the NCAA, but the whole of college basketball,” said the Petron coach.