‘The Beast’ returns as Phoenix battles NLEX

Published October 26, 2020, 9:09 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Calvin Abueva during the Phoenix team practice. (PBA Images)

Calvin Abueva finally sees action a day after his indefinite suspension was lifted as Phoenix Super LPG faces NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

Attention will be on Abueva’s every move in the 4 p.m. contest after his 16-month agony came to an end on Sunday when commissioner Willie Marcial reinstated the energetic forward.

Abueva was informed of the decision during a meeting with Marcial, deputy commissioner Eric Castro and technical officer Mauro Bengua.

But Abueva, who was joined in the meeting by coach Topex Robinson and team manager Paolo Bugia, was also told of sanctions that will be imposed on possible infractions in the futures.

It will be interesting to see if Abueva comes out with the same intense demeanor that made him one of the most popular figures in the league or a tamed version of “The Beast.”

The return of Abueva could only come at a better time for the Fuel Masters, who are coming off a morale-boosting 91-84 win over the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok last Friday.

Phoenix erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter behind a 22-0 run to snap a two-game skid.

Meanwhile, the second game between TNT and NorthPort set at 6:45 p.m. appears to be a go after the PBA announced Monday morning that a Blackwater player that was positive for COVID-19 received a negative result in both his antigen and RT-PCR tests.

TNT was forced to practice self-isolation after coming in contact with the said player during Thursday’s 109-96 victory over Blackwater.

But with the league’s announcement, the Tropang Giga can now put their focus back on going for a sixth straight win in as many games against the Batang Pier.

NorthPort won its first match last Saturday, defeating Terrafirma, 107-96.