Magnolia coach: Abueva fits our system

Published July 17, 2021, 8:51 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Calvin Abueva brought the x-factor formula in his debut with new team Magnolia Hotshots, chalking up a double-double performance to outplay former squad Phoenix Fuelmasters in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday, July 17.

Calvin Abueva throws a one-hander shot against Phoenix defenders in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday, July 17. (PBA)

After putting up 26 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists en route to an 80-73 Magnolia win, coach Chito Victolero could not help but laud the 6-foot-3 bruiser during the post-match interview.

READ: Abueva’s arrival makes Magnolia a title contender – Lee

While Victolero credited all players for the team effort, he said Abueva gave new energy to his wards which enabled Magnolia to create more defensive and fastbreak plays.

“Sinabi ko pa lang noong una, I think talaga bagay siya sa amin, sa sistema, doon sa tinatakbo naming scheme tsaka depensa (I said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Calvin really fits our system, with how we run our scheme and defense),” said Victolero. “Especially, ‘yong energy niya. ‘Yong nakuha naming energy niya sa pressure defense namin at tsaka ‘yong aming rebounding, na-improve because of Calvin (Especially his energy. We get a lot of energy from him for our pressure defense and our rebounding improved because of Calvin).”

READ: Abueva appreciates warm welcome from Magnolia veteran Pingris

Abueva, who got traded from Phoenix to Magnolia last February, also went eight-of-14 from the field and nine-of-15 from the free-throw line with six defensive and four offensive boards.

The 33-year-old Abueva, for his part, said the team’s sacrifice and eagerness to play paved the way for their first win in the 46th season of the PBA.

READ: Victolero sees high reward in Abueva trade

As far as facing his former teammates, with most whom he had tight personal bonds, Abueva said it’s just business after all.

“Iba ‘pag kaharap ‘yong dati mong team pero ‘yun nga, ‘yong pakikisama mo sa dating team nandoon pa rin pero different team na ngayon (It feels different when you face your former team. While the bond is still there, I’m already with my new team),” added the seven-time PBA All-Star from Pampanga.

“Trabaho sa trabaho. Pinush ko ‘yong mga teammates ko lalo na ‘yong sarili ko para ma-push namin itong coming season na ‘to para maganda ‘yong laruin namin (Business is business. I pushed my teammates, especially myself to perform well this season).”