Everybody was expecting Calvin Abueva to redeem himself Friday.
The man formerly known as the “Beast” did not disappoint, leading Phoenix Super LPG past TNT 110-103 to even up their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Gym in Angeles City.
Abueva finished with a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds he highlighted with three points, eight rebounds and some hustle plays in the stretch that completed his bounce-back from a 92-95 loss last Wednesday, when he was in foul trouble for most of the way.
With Jason Perkins adding 21 points and Justin Chua also rebounding from a three-point game with 18 this time, the Fuel Masters turned the initial best-of-five match-up into a race-to-two affair.
The other Phoenix players also did their part in their own way to make up for top gunner Matthew Wright scoring just two points while hobbled by a sprained ankle.
“Wala si Matt kaya kailangan naming lahat mag-step up at nagawa naman namin,” said Abueva in a post-game TV interview. “‘Yung mga pinapagawa ni coach Topex (Robinson) na patience lang sa execution, sa mga plays namin at ‘yun ‘yung naging reason kung bakit nanalo kami.”
Spoiled was the biggest night of Bobby Ray Parks’ young career.
Parks finished with a new career-high 41 points while going 10-of-14 from 3s, but fouled out in the last 4:59 of the game on an offensive foul against Abueva, with TNT nursing a 92-90 lead.