Calvin Abueva assured Alaska fans he won’t miss Game 2, just moments after limping out of their series-opening match, which the Aces won, 97-94 against the Meralco Bolts Monday night in their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-1 wingman stretched and hurt his left leg while trying to chase Meralco guard Jared Dillinger during the dying seconds of Game 1.
Alaska players had to help him up as he slowly walked back to the bench before applying a pack of ice cubes on his left leg.
“Na-stretch lang ito, konting pahinga lang then puwede na mag-ensayo bukas,” Abueva told media men, assuring Alaska fans that he’ll come out with the same intensity in Game 2 set on Wednesday.
Abueva’s slip happened on the same day Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry also slipped on a wet spot during the first half of their 121-94 demolition of the Houston Rockets in Game 4 of the NBA playoffs.
The difference was, Curry, the reigning NBA MVP was reportedly diagnosed with an MCL injury while Abueva was able to walk out of the venue by himself, free from any tear on his left leg or knee.
The Alaska forward known for his moniker the “Beast”, in fact, vowed to work even harder in practice on Tuesday as they come out try to improve on their defense heading to Game 2.
“Bukas sa practice, hard work talaga. Aayusin namin and depensa namin,” vowed the former PBA Rookie of the Year.
Abueva said he doesn’t expect the best-of-5 semifinal series to be easy, especially against a Meralco side that defeated them, 107-101 just 2 weeks ago in the elimination round.
He reasoned that the Aces weren’t able to prepare their game plan against the Bolts, who for much of the conference, has rode on the broad shoulders of wide-bodied import Arizne Onuaku.
“Nung time na eliminiations, talagang talo kami. Hindi namin napaghandaan yung game na yun,” admitted Abueva.
“Pero ngayon sa semis nagawa naming manalo ng Game 1 though di naman basta basta aatras ang mga iyan kaya depende pa din iyan sa mga adjustments na gagawin namin,” he added.
The 6-foot-1 Abueva poured all 15 of his points in the 2nd half, conniving with guard RJ Jazul to help fend off the Bolts in the endgame.
Jazul led the Aces with 18 points to ably fill in the void vacated by injured starting point guard JV Casio (right knee). – By Richard Dy
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