Alaska import Robert Dozier and Cyrus Baguio shared the same observation that newly-minted PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Player Calvin Abueva has become a “more complete player” this season.
Dozier noted that the 6-foot-1 Abueva has grown a lot since coming in 2013 to lead the Aces to the Commissioner’s Cup championship.
Back then, Abueva was a rookie, who, more often than not, played with reckless abandon when he’s on the floor.
“On and off the court, he’s (Abueva) way more matured than he used to be,” Dozier told media men, shortly after Alaska lived to fight another day with its 111-99 victory over a listless Rain or Shine squad in Game 4 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Friday night
Dozier, who won the Best Import award in 2013, felt the “Beast” has improved in almost every facet of his game since his rookie season.
“More and more he’s engaged at what the team needs. He’s better passer, better shooter, and he’s got better all around. I’m very proud of him,” said a beaming Dozier, who failed to corner a 2nd Best Import award after losing to Meralco’s Arinze Onuaku.
On the other hand, Baguio stressed that Abueva’s energy and hustle are just 2 of the intangibles he brings to the Aces every game day.
“Siyempre masaya ako para sa kanya dahil nakikita ko yung transition ng career niya na nag-umpisa siya sa ganito and then ngayon, medyo nag-mature na siya. Hindi na siya bara bara,” said Baguio.
“Nag-improve na yung shooting niya, and as a teammate, masaya ako at proud ako sa kanya. Isa talaga siya sa inaasahan namin lalo na sa depensa at rebounds.”
The 35-year-old Baguio said Abueva may be a pesky defender, but not too many people know that the former NCAA MVP also has a soft side.
“Makulit yun si Calvin, ganun yun maglaro pero malambot din ang puso nun,” he said with a smile.
“Parang napa-iyak na siya kanina (upon receiving the Best Player award). Alam ko deserve siya sa award niya kasi nakikipag-palitan siya ng mukha sa court,” said Baguio. – By Richard Dy
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