Alaska coach Alex Compton noted that Calvin Abueva has grown wiser and more laser-like in his focus as the “Beast” tries to help the Aces in their drive for a 15th PBA championship this season.
PBA fans may notice Abueva’s antics more as he talks trash with other players during the game, but the Alaska mentor said the 28-year-old forward is simply a bundle of energy on the floor.
“With Calvin, he’s got energy, quickness and toughness and I think he’s one guy who works that hard,” Compton told FOX Sports on Monday.
“So when he gets the chance to guard a guy, I think it brings out the competitor in him because you rarely ever, ever have to ask him to play hard. The effort is consistent.”
The Aces’ mantra all these years is “we-not-me”, but Compton simply wanted to give credit to where credit is due after Alaska chalked up its 5th straight win on Saturday.
“He was instrumental against Ginebra in the defense,” said the American coach.
“He defended Othyus very well. And then against GlobalPort, he exploded offensively with 29 (points) and 14 rebounds, with 4-for-4 from the 3. He’s been working on his jump shot, and he shot the ball really well,” he added.
The 6-foot-1 Abueva averaged 23 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks in Alaska’s victories over Ginebra and GlobalPort to earn his 2nd Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of March 7-13.
The former PBA Rookie of the Year bested the Rain or Shine big man JR Quinahan, Star veteran guard Peter June Simon and Tropang TNT backup guard Jai Reyes for the weekly citation.
Against the Batang Pier, Abueva fired a new PBA career-high 29 points, to go along with 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks, helping the Aces grab the solo lead in the standings with their 5-1 record.
As Alaska prepares for its 1st meeting with San Miguel Beer this conference come Wednesday, Compton hopes the Aces will continue to show their stellar play behind Abueva and import Shane Edwards in tow.
“I’m not gonna make a decision very soon but I’d say Shane is playing great. There’s no question Rob led us to a championship and there’s nothing you can say about that,” said Compton, whose team blew a 3-0 Finals series lead and ceding the Philippine Cup crown to San Miguel last January.
“Unfortunately, he (Dozier) got hurt, but fortunately, we were able to get Shane. He’s a quality player and a high quality person who has come to lead us to 5 straight wins,” he added. – By Richard Dy
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