A NIGHT before their Tuesday matchup, Calvin Abueva and CJ Perez affirmed that they're great pals, even if they'll be facing each other from opposite sides of the court.
"My brother [from] another mother," Abueva wrote in an Instagram story, tagging Perez, in anticipation of today's game.
Come game day, Phoenix won out, 116-94, against Terrafirma Dyip. But both The Beast and the Baby Beast remained at the top of their games, leading their respective teams.
Young guard and Rookie of the Year Perez garnered a total of 32 points (47 percent from the field), nine rebounds, and five assists.
On the other hand, 'The Beast' delivered a rousing triple-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The match boosted the Fuel Masters' record to 5-3, and kept Dyip winless. However, their best player still chose to humbly salute his 'kuya Calvin' on the court.
"Different Calvin na 'yung ngayon, mas chill siya sa laro and mas focused, pero 'yung energy niya, andun pa rin, hindi nagbago," the 6-foot-2 Perez shared with SPIN Life.
CJ earned the nickname "Baby Beast" from the late Rolly Manlapaz back in 2012, when he played big for San Sebastian. This was also Abueva's alma mater, where, in 2009, the young Calvin led the Stags to a championship.
The two also had a fair share of achievements in their respective NCAA journeys. Both were awarded MVPs; Abueva in 2011, Perez in 2017.
Perez and Abueva faced each other for the first time after the latter's 16-month long suspension.
Thus far in the bubble, Abueva has a consistent average of 25.2 points per game, currently trailing Phoenix's Matthew Wright (25.7 ppg) in the running list of the league's top scorers.
As for CJ, he's focused on doing his job. He also dedicated his game to his hardworking mentors.
"Basta ako naglalaro ako para sa pride ko and ng buong team, at para kay coach John [Cardel]. Hirap kasi 'yung situation na siya 'yung nasisisi sa lahat ng talo namin," he said.