PBA: Abueva saves Chua’s career game
Mark Escarlote on Jan 16, 2019 10:56 PM
Unang-una nagpapasalamat ako kay Calvin kasi kung hindi n’ya na-shoot ‘yun yari ako kay coach -- Justin Chua
Justin Chua had Calvin Abueva to thank for saving his career game.
Chua almost saw his best scoring night go down the drain with a defensive lapse late in regulation but Abueva, who was throwing bricks for most of the game, came to the rescue with the game-winning putback that helped Phoenix escape Meralco, 93-92, in overtime Wednesday in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome.
The big man breathed a sigh of relief as Abueva nailed his last of only two field goals in 13 attempts in the closing stretch of the extension.
“Unang-una nagpapasalamat ako kay Calvin kasi kung hindi n’ya na-shoot ‘yun yari ako kay coach,” said Chua, who posted a career-best 24 points. “For me I feel like I lost that game for the team buti na lang nandoon talaga si Calvin.”
Chua shot 9-of-17 from the field and pulled down six boards.
But his night could’ve turned sour with a bad defensive play that forced the extra five minutes.
Phoenix was protecting an 83-81 advantage with under a minute left in regulation when Chua’s defensive lapse on Ranidel De Ocampo almost cost them the game. Chua failed to box out De Ocampo after Reynel Hugnatan missed on his long range shot, allowing the Bolts forward to haul the offensive board for a putback that tied the game at 83.
The Fuel Masters failed to convert on the other end.
“Medyo napagalitan namin kanina kasi na-shoot ni Ranidel, he stopped, talagang pinanood niya 'yung sitwasyon,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas. “Sabi ko, wala tayong pinag-uusapan from start to finish kun'di one possession, one possession, and you blew that one possession. Binawi naman niya ng overtime.”
Chua admitted that he struggled on defense.
“Actually the whole game medyo ang sama ng depensa ko talaga eh. Talon ako ng talon sa mga fakes tapos hindi ako buma-box out,” said Chua. “Ilang beses na akong sinasabihan ni coach pero parang ang tigas ng ulo ko this game. I’ll review the tape and try to be better next game para di na maulit.”
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