Calvin Abueva collects 21 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals in his return to Alaska after missing one game
Published 9:54 PM, January 31, 2018
Updated 9:55 PM, January 31, 2018
HAPPY RETURN. Calvin Abueva comes back with fire from a one-game absence. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Abueva returned from a one-game absence and the Alaska Aces cruised to their 5th straight win with an 18-point shellacking of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 93-75, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday, January 31.
Abueva bounced back from his absence in Alaska’s 88-84 triumph over the Blackwater Elite last January 27 with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals in 25 minutes of action. He also registered a plus-minus of +28, the biggest among Alaska players.
Chris Banchero backstopped Abueva and sustained his steady performance with 22 points on a 6-of-8 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Vic Manuel, Noy Baclao and Simon Enciso chipped in 10 markers apiece and conjoined for 15 boards.
The Fuel Masters, who were playing catchup basketball throughout, came to as close as 14 points early in the 4th quarter following a JC Intal triple, 57-71. before the Aces pulled away for good with an 11-0 spurt.
Alaska, which improved to 5-2 for second place, tasted its biggest lead of the game at 87-60 after a Kevin Racal trey.
The Aces remained undefeated this year after losing their first two games last December.
“Looking back in the first half, we gave up 24 points. It’s just one of those halves where I thought our defense had a lot of teeth. That was really the story of the game,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
“After that, it’s more of like maintaining the lead and not let them get too close within striking distance. They had a good run to start the fourth quarter then we just have to settle down and change some stuff. It’s a big win for us.”
Matthew Wright paced the Fuel Masters with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals while Jeff Chan had 14 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds. The two, however, only made 12 of their 37 combined shot attempts.
Phoenix, which had an emphatic 87-82 victory over Barangay Ginebra last January 26, could not carry its winning ways as it dropped to 3-4 for 5th place.
Alaska (93): Banchero 22, Abueva 21, Manuel 10, Baclao 10, Enciso 10, Racal 6, Casio 5, Cruz 3, Thoss 2, Galliguez 2, Magat 2, Potts 0, Teng 0, Exciminiano 0
Phoenix (75): Wright 16, Chan 14, Perkins 12, Chua 7, Kramer 6, Mendoza 5, Alolino 4, Revilla 3, Jazul 3, Intal 3, Wilson 2, Guevarra 0, Dehesa 0, Eriobu 0
Quarter scores: 23-12, 48-24,68-50, 93-75