MANILA, Philippines — Calvin Abueva hasn’t missed a beat since returning from his 16-month suspension.
And the relentless forward was in his usual element for in the grand stage of Philippine Cup semifinals just when Phoenix needed someone to rise to the occasion.
With his team trailing 0-1 in the semis against the TNT Tropang Giga, Abueva came up big in Games 2 and 3 as the Fuel Masters moved on the cusp of their first-ever trip to the PBA Finals.
“I just want to step up. I gave everything, energy and effort. You can give whatever you can for the team as long as there is effort,” he said in Filipino.
Abueva, who was named the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week, averaged 22.0 points on 55% shooting from the field, 14.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 3.0 steals in the pair of bounce back performances after a foul-plagued series opener.
The 32-year-old Abueva collected 20 points, 15 boards, four assists and two steals in a 110-103 win in Game 2 before following it up with 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals in a dramatic Game 3 victory.
Meanwhile, Arvin Tolentino was the top rookie the past week after helping Barangay Ginebra take a 2-1 semis series lead over Meralco.
Tolentino averaged 8.7 points on 43% shooting from downtown, and 4.7 rebounds.
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