Cliff Hodge prefers Alaska over TNT: I love going against Calvin

Meralco forward Cliff Hodge got his wish after helping the Bolts reach the semifinals of the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Now his next wish? A semifinal collision with the powerhouse Alaska side where Hodge hopes to pit skills and brawn with the “Beast” Calvin Abueva.

Asked by FOX Sports why he preferred the Aces over the defending champions Tropa, he had one simply response: “I wanna play Alaska coz I just love going against Calvin.”

The 6-foot-4 Hodge mirrors the plays of the “Beast”, being Meralco’s energizer bunny.

The 28-year-old Hodge is known a blue-collar player, who goes hard for rebounds and is not afraid to score against bigger opponents.

“It’s always fun to play against one of the better guys in the PBA,” added Hodge, who averages 10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists this conference.

His wish though hinges on how the Aces play on Tuesday.

TNT drew first blood in their best-of-3 semifinal series against Alaska, 106-99 behind rookie forward Troy Rosario’s PBA career-high 31 points.

Now the Aces will have to win twice for Hodge to realize his wish.

Nevertheless, Hodge said he’s happy to see Meralco make that major turnaround this conference after seeing the Bolts finish dead last in the Philippine Cup with their 1-11 record.

“It’s a hundred-percent turnaround. And it feels great because it was like all the guys are contributing,” explained Meralco’s 4th overall pick in the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft.

“The chemistry is better and I mean you only get certain chances like this every now when you have a good import,” he added.

“We’re feeling good right now going to the semis.” – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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