Calvin Abueva played just his third game back on Tuesday when Phoenix Super LPG took on Terrafirma Dyip in a 2020 PBA Philippine Cup affair. And there, he again showed his value for his team.
The 6-foot-2 forward notched a rare triple-double, collecting 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists to help the Fuel Masters keep the Dyip winless in six games through a dominant 116-94 victory.
Abueva and Phoenix collected their fifth win in the bubble, moving closer to a quarterfinal berth.
“We always talk about being the best versions of ourselves,” said head coach Topex Robinson. “Having all of those guys buying into that word means so much to us — as a program, as a company, as a culture.
“Being your best doesn’t mean you’re going to score the points. You’ll notice at the stats that guys were just sharing that basketball. And again whoever gets the best shot, we’ll always celebrate that.”
This has been yet another all-around outing for the 32-year-old. In his first game back versus NLEX last Oct. 26, he finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists to help his side to the 114-110 win.
Then versus his former team Alaska last Oct. 29, the eight-year pro out of San Sebastian churned out 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. Unfortunately, it came in a losing effort, 97-105.
For Robinson, Abueva — whom he has known ever since their days together with the Stags program — is simply making the most out of this opportunity to play the game again — an opportunity that he nearly lost.
“Well for him, it’s really more of valuing what he has. Right now he knows that he’s playing on borrowed time. Kumbaga ‘yung nawala sa kanya nung seven years, binabawi na niya ngayon ‘yon,” he said. “So that’s very important, every opportunity para sa kanya is to play this game of basketball that he missed and that he loves also.
“He’s doing it, again, for his family, that’s always been there for him, so he’s playing inspired basketball right now.”