Calvin Abueva kills Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit with dagger trey in his return

Calvin Abueva announced his comeback with a dagger trey that sealed Alaska Aces’ 109-100 overtime win over crowd-favorite Brgy. Ginebra on Sunday night in front of 11,565 fans in attendance, the biggest crowd so far in the season-ending Governors’ Cup. 

Abueva was left wide open and sank a triple with 42 seconds left that put the game beyond Ginebra’s reach, stretching Alaska’s lead to 9, 107-98.

Abueva, who had an extended rest after being cut from Gilas, contributed big for Alaska with 12 points and 10 rebounds along with 3 assists and a steal and a block in his return.

Chris Banchero was also instrumental coming up with 19 points, 3 boards, 3 assists and 5 steals, with the last one in overtime a back-breaker for the Kings. Alaska’s import LaDontae Henton survived a deliberate foul slapped on him in the regulation to finish with 29 points and 9 rebounds.

“Ginebra is always tough to play. With that kind of crowd, they always have that energy to come back but I thought we kept our poise and that was big for us,” Banchero said.

Brgy. Ginebra bungled a chance to win it in regulation as Sol Mercado, who waxed hot with 22 points, missed a layup at the buzzer. New import Justin Brownlee played huge early on but suffered cramps towards the endgame that hastened the Kings’ downfall. He wound up with 31 points and 13 rebounds.

The Aces pulled away for good in the extension as Jvee Casio, Banchero and Henton connived in an 8-0 run that broke a 96-all deadlock. LA Tenorio cut it down to just 6 with his patented reverse layup move but Abueva quickly answered on the other end that spelled doom for Brgy. Big Dome.