Calvin Abueva hardly missed a beat as Magnolia beat San Miguel, 94-65, to stay perfect in the PBA On Tour, Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Back after missing seven games due to a minor knee issue, the ‘Beast’ almost had a double-double with nine points and 16 rebounds as he helped the Hotshots remain unbeaten through eight games in the preseason tilt.
“Actually, hindi,” said head coach Chito Victolero as he didn’t expect his star forward to play the way he did. “But sabi ko nga, that’s Calvin.”
“Once you put him on the floor, ang dami niyang magagawa,” he added. “‘Yun lang, sabi ko nga, kailangan lang limitahan ‘yung minutes niya, at the same time, sumama siya doon sa sistema ng ginagawa namin.”
James Laput led the welcoming committee for Abueva as he finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, together with 11 rebounds.
Laput was part of the starting unit that enabled the Hotshots to race to a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, marking the start of the wire-to-wire win.
Jerrick Ahanmisi contributed 13 markers, spiked by a troika of three-pointers. Jio Jalalon supplied 11 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Big man Abu Tratter also scored 11 markers and added 11 rebounds in the conquest.
“Everybody’s enjoying,” said Victolero, whose wards dished out 29 assists. “I think that’s why lumalabas yung game because everybody wants to execute on the defensive end, offensive end, and then everybody helping each other.
“I think we’re playing very good basketball right now,” added the champion mentor. “This is part of our preparation going into the regular season.”
Magnolia has three games left in its schedule, It will face Rain or Shine next on July 15 in Dumaguete before taking on Phoenix Super LPG on the 23rd and lastly Terrafirma on the 26th to wrap up its On Tour campaign.
Jericho Cruz, meanwhile, had 15 points to lead San Miguel, who couldn’t sustain momentum after snapping a five-game skid against TNT the last time out.
Rodney Brondial made 12 points and 11 rebounds while Allyn Bulanadi added 10 markers as the trio carried the fight for the depleted crew.
The Beermen (3-7) will look to end their On Tour stint with a win against the Dyip next Sunday, July 16, 5 p.m. at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Magnolia 94 – Laput 21, Ahanmisi 13, Jalalon 11, Tratter 11, Abueva 9, Eriobu 9, Mendoza 7, Corpuz 5, Dela Rosa 5, Murrell 3, Barroca 1, Lee 0.
San Miguel 65 – Cruz 15, Brondial 12, Bulanadi 10, Faundo 9, Dela Cruz 8, Baclao 5, Lee 2, Apacible 2, Lazarte 2.
Quarterscores: 24-14, 48-35, 66-56, 94-65