Phoenix Pulse is close to securing a Top 2 finish in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup eliminations, thanks to the energy and hustle provided by forward Calvin Abueva.
The former PBA Rookie of Year has been on attack mode this past week after leading Phoenix to back-to-back wins over NorthPort and Alaska to earn his first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of February 27-March 3.
The 31-year-old Abueva submitted solid averages of 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 block to help Phoenix seize the solo lead with a tournament-best 7-1 record.
A seven-time PBA All-Star, Abueva sparkled with 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists in helping Phoenix scrape past a pesky NorthPort squad, 98-96 last February 27.
Two days later, the 31-year-old Abueva upped the ante against Alaksa, his former team after registering 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and a block to lead Phoenix to a 94-80 win.
The victory officially sealed Phoenix’s entry into the quarterfinals.
“The past few games I didn’t insert him in the starting lineup, but there’s no instance that after grabbing a rebound, he will attack the defense,” coach Louie Alas said, in describing the mindset of the one-time PBA Best Player of the Conference awardee.
“I just simply reminded him that it’s okay to be aggressive as long as he’s in control.”
Abueva beat Phoenix teammates Matthew Wright and Justin Chua, along with Blackwater forward Allein Maliksi and Mac Belo and Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon for the weekly citation.