Calvin Abueva fired 26 points to power the Magnolia Hotshots past his former team, Phoenix Super LPG, 80-73, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Abueva, who was traded by Phoenix to Magnolia in exchange for Chris Banchero in the offseason, made an immediate impact for the Hotshots, going 8 of 14 from the field, besides tallying 10 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Hotshots also got 21 points from Paul Lee.
It was a close fight for most part of the game with the two squads leaning on their defense.
"We tried to lower the score, we tried to limit them possession per possession especially in the fourth quarter," said Manglolia coach Chito Victolero.
"Nalimit namin ang field goal percentage, especially 'yung players nila like (Matthew) Wright, (Jason) Perkins and (Vic) Manuel.
Victolero added that Abueva's energy especially on defense also helped them overcome the Super LPG.
"Talagang bagay siya sa amin. Sa sistema, sa tinatakbo naming scheme, sa depensa. Especially sa enegry niya sa pressure defense namin at 'yung rebounding namin," said the coach.
"But of course, tulong tulong with the other players. It's a team effort."
Matthew Wright led the Super LPG with 20 points, while new acquisition Vic Manuel added 16.
RJ Jazul actually had the chance to send the game into overtime with his three point attempt in the final 22.5 seconds.
But the shot rimmed out, allowing the Hotshots to seal the deal via free throw shots.
FROM THE ARCHIVES