A rejuvenated Calvin Abueva showed up in his return from a one-game absence to lead the Alaska Aces to a 93-75 rout of the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Win the win, the Aces extended its winning run to 5 and more importantly stayed within striking distance of the top 2 spots which carries the incentive of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Abueva, who asked to be excused during the team’s game against Blackwater to attend to a personal emergency, dumped his jersey number 8 in favor number 88 for the game against Phoenix.
When asked for the reason behind the switch, Abueva, who dubbed himself as “The Beast 2.0”, cited depression due to family problems as the primary consideration for the sudden move.
“Kinuha ko itong number 88 para ang 2018 the best part of my life. Kahit hindi na sa love life,” explained Abueva during the post-game interview.
“Pinaninindigan ko sa sarili ko na kaya ko itong lusutan. Kaya ‘The Beast 2.0′,” he added.
Abueva, who hinted of an impending separation with his wife, finished the game with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 assist and 1 block in just 25 minutes of action.
The 29-year old former NCAA MVP vows to put more effort into his game and help the Aces achieve something that has eluded them for the past five years.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy itong nilalaro ko at itong pagkabalik ko para makapasok kami sa finals at makuha namin itong championship,” he added.