MANILA, Philippines – Beefed up with prized rookie Calvin Abueva, Alaska pulled off a surprise against powerhouse team Petron Blaze in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday.
The 6’3” Abueva, who just finished his tour of duty in NCAA’s San Sebastian, had a double-double in his PBA debut to help the Aces seize an 88-86 victory over the Boosters.
“What can I say? It’s just so nice to have Calvin. He brings so much to our team energy-wise,” a delighted Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo said in PBA.ph.
“I didn’t know I only played him six minutes in the first half. So I just decided to let him be Calvin,” he added.
Abueva, who was nicknamed “The Beast” during his NCAA days, unloaded 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play.
Two of his Alaska team mates also came up big in the scoring department.
Veteran Dondon Hontiveros scored all of his 17 points in the second half, 15 of them in the fourth period.
Cyrus Baguio top-scored for the Aces with 21 points to go with his 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
It was a sorry loss for Petron, which had to absorb its 2nd-straight defeat despite having five players finishing in double figures.
The Bolts now sport a 1-3 win-loss slate, joining Air21 and Globalport at the bottom of the standings.
Chris Lutz finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, while Jay Washington added 15 points and 13 boards.
Alaska now has a 2-2 record.
Alaska 88 - Baguio 21, Hontiveros 17, Abueva 12, Casio 9, Thoss 8, Jazul 6, Baracael 6, Espinas 3, Reyes 2, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2.
Petron 86 - Lutz 20, Washington 15, Cabagnot 12, Santos 11, Pena 11, Miranda 7, Yeo 4, Ildefonso 4, Mallari 2.
Quarterscores: 17-18, 37-41, 57-65, 88-86