Calvin Abueva finally experienced being part of the Manila Clasico when Magnolia fought Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Sunday.
And for Paul Lee, the arrival of the ‘Beast’ in the Hotshots’ lair has added even more flavor to the rivalry between two of the PBA’s most storied clubs.
“Magandang dagdag siya doon sa Manila Clasico talaga,” he offered.
Well, Abueva proved as much.
The 33-year-old finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds in a turnover-less outing.
He actually got shaken up in the final seconds of the third canto that saw him clutch his leg. Fortunately, though, he allayed fears when he managed to return later.
“Si Calvin, wala naman,” said head coach Chito Victolero.
“Nakagat ata siya ng langgam eh kaya sumakit ang kanyang hamstring. Pero gawang US ‘yon kaya ipapagpag lang niya ‘yan.”
Abueva was even part of Magnolia’s closing unit, which repelled a late-game Gin Kings rally to leave the Ynares Sports Arena with the 89-79 win.
Meanwhile, Lee, who had 22 points, sang praises for his teammate.
“Kilala naman natin si Calvin, kahit sa Alaska naglalaro o sa Phoenix, basta ‘pag naglaro na sa court ‘yan, all-out talaga ‘yung tao,” he said.
Now that Abueva has his first Manila Clasico under his belt, Lee looks forward to many more with the eight-year pro in tow.
“Sobrang malaking impact ‘yun sa Manila Clasico,” he said.
“Alam naman natin kung gaano kalaki ‘yung impact na naibibigay niya every game.”