#PBA2015: This Is Not The Calvin Abueva We Know

The Calvin Abueva we are seeing in the 2014-2015 PBA season is not the one we know and love (to hate).

That’s because the Abueva we’re seeing now is actually much, much better.

Calvin Abueva has regained his form a legit BPC or even MVP-type player.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5)

Remember in 2012-2013 when Abueva tore up the PBA as a rookie? Remember his leading the Aces’ resurgence after Tim Cone’s exit? Remember his enabling Alaska to win the 2013 Commish Cup? Remember his spearheading Alaska campaign, which resulted in the Aces’ finishing with the best cumulative record in that entire season (35 wins, 20 losses, and a 63.6% win rate)?

The Beast averaged 12.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in his first pro year. Not surprisingly, he was named the Rookie of the Year (over current reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo I might add), and was even in the MVP conversation for quite a while. 

In short, he pretty much lived up to his billing.

His sophomore season, however, wasn’t as rosy. His numbers dropped to just 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, and his team struggled a bit as well. The Aces’ cumulative record was just 22 wins against 22 losses for a 50.0% win rate. They weren’t able to defend their Commish Cup title, and didn’t even make a single Conference Finals. 

This season, though, the former Golden Stag has become, quite frankly, the most feared player in the country.

He is career-highs across the board — 17.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He is shooting a career-best 45.0% from the floor and, though it’s objectively non-inspiring, his 64.4 FT% is also his best in three seasons. 

Consequently, the Aces have reaped the rewards of their top guy playing so well. For most of the first conference, Alaska was on top of the league table and even if they just lost to the schizophrenic Ginebra Gin Kings, the Aces remain a favorite to make it to the semifinals outright. At the very least, coach Alex Compton’s wards are assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round.

And, of course, most of the credit goes to Abueva. In ten games so far, the Pampanga native has registered SIX double-doubles. He’s the only non-center to reach that many at this point in the season, which is absolutely insane once we wrap our heads around the fact Abueva is no bigger than 6’3. 

Will his monstrous production alone be enough to push the Aces to the first non-Purefoods title since, well, Alaska won the Commish Cup in 2013? Of course not, but it’s sure as hell a good place to start.

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