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The Beast has rediscovered his growl.
Alaska’s do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva made an instant impact on his return as he powered the Aces to their first win this season, a come-from-behind 95-84 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Abueva, who missed the team’s first two games due to tonsillitis and a bruised quadriceps, scored 15 of his team high 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Aces checked a two-game slide.
Abueva, the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) in last season’s Commissioner’s Cup, converted 8-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point territory while adding 11 rebounds in nearly 27 minutes of action.
JV Casio also stepped up in that final frame as he collected 10 of his 15 points, highlighted by a big 3-pointer down the stretch.
Down by nine points, 78-69, after GlobalPort’s JR Quinahan drilled a triple with 6:12 left, the Aces unleashed an 18-1 run behind the combined efforts of Abueva and Casio that gave them an 87-79 advantage with 2:14 remaining.
“It’s great to have some of the guys back,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. Other than Abueva. Alaska also had forward Vic Manuel and guard Ping Exciminiano returning after serving a one-game suspension handed by management for violating a provision in their contracts by playing in a pickup game.
Alaska still missed the services of Sonny Thoss (knee), Rome dela Rosa (quadriceps) and Noy Baclao (knee).
As for Globalport, the loss was its first after a 2-0 start, denying coach Franz Pumaren a chance to match a franchise best 3-0 start during the 2015 Governors’ Cup under coach Pido Jarencio.
The 1-2 punch of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle led Globalport with 26 and 23 points, respectively.
The setback dropped the Batang Pier in a six-way jam at 2-1 with defending champion San Miguel Beer, Phoenix Fuel, TNT KaTropa, Rain or Shine and Blackwater.
ALASKA 95 – Abueva 22, Casio 15, Manuel 10, Jazul 9, Mendoza 9, Dela Cruz 6, Hontiveros 6, Cruz 6, Exciminiano 5, Racal 3, Banchero 2, Magat 2.
GLOBALPORT 84 – Romeo 26, Pringle 23, Quinahan 15, Semerad 8, Canaleta 3, Pennisi 3, Aban 2, Maierhofer 2, Paredes 2, Cortez 0, Dehesa 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 21-20; 35-40; 62-65; 95-84.