Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2020 23:19:28 +0000
By JONAS TERRADO
Calvin Abueva finally made a huge impact as Phoenix Super LPG got back at TNT, 110-103, Friday night to tie at 1-1 their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Abueva finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals which came after making big plays when it mattered to help the Fuel Masters bounce back from a 95-92 loss in the best-of-five opener last Wednesday.
Jason Perkins scored nine of his 21 points in the final four minutes that saw Phoenix regain control of the lead at 94-92 after TNT rallied from being down 60-45 late in the second quarter to go ahead 92-90 midway into the fourth.
Justin Chua added 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocks while three others scored in double figures for Phoenix despite ace scorer Matthew Wright playing just 15 minutes after injuring his right ankle in the early moments of Game 1.
Phoenix coach Topex Robinson praised Abueva, whose tamed version of “The Beast” was again evident during the final minutes.
Abueva assisted or hauled down the rebounds on both ends which resulted in Perkins scoring the majority of Phoenix’s baskets down the stretch.
“It’s always a joy to see Calvin be a different ‘Beast’ now,” said Robinson. “He know that Matt’s not 100 percnt and he just kept promising that when he wasn’t around, Matt was there for him and now nawala si Matt, siya naman babawi.”
Abueva also had a hand in cutting short the hot night of TNT’s Ray Parks Jr., who fouled out while trying to defend a driving Abueva inside the paint.
Parks fired 41 points with 10 triples, tying a TNT franchise record set last October by teammate RR Pogoy. He was the Tropang Giga’s most consistent player as the rest were on and off.
Game 1 hero Jayson Castro was held to just nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, Poy Erram had a quiet 10-point, 10-rebound outing while Pogoy and Troy Rosario scored 13 and 10.
In the first game, Meralco went on a power surge in the second half to stun Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 95-77, and tie at 1-1 their own semis series.
The Bolts banked on Allein Maliksi, Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan and Baser Amer in the second half to not only erase a 50-42 halftime deficit but also produce a lopsided victory that atoned for their 96-79 loss in the series opener two nights ago.
Bong Quinto, Cliff Hodge and Reynel Hugnatan were consistent throughout as the Bolts denied the Kings a commanding 2-0 advantage into the third game of their best-of-five affair slated Sunday evening.
“We just talked about the fact that we cannot go down 0-2 because we will have no chance of coming back in the series so this game is really, really important for us,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“We found out in Game 1 what exactly what we were up against. Offensive and defensively, we made some few adjustments to try and be able to beat this team and the players executed very, very well. The teamwork was there and we have balanced scoring than in Game 1,” he added.
Six Meralco players scored in double figures with Newsome an