Abueva puts up career-high as Alaska subdues undermanned GlobalPort

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Calvin Abueva tallied his best scoring output in his young but now stellar PBA career as he lifted Alaska to a 103-101 victory over GlobalPort in Saturday night's Commissioner's Cup featured game at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Abueva bucked an early ankle injury and made 29 points as the Aces rallied back to spoil Shawn Taggart's debut and make the Batang Pier feel the absence of star guards Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.

GlobalPort actually had a strong start, racing to a 30-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Alaska answered with a 32-point second quarter to cut the lead to three, 51-48, at halftime as Abueva began heating up.

The Batang Pier threatened to pull anew, rebuilding an eight-point cushion, 70-62, with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter.

But the Aces made another run to finally take the lead, 83-81, with 8:12 left in the fourth period.

Back-to-back triples from Jonathan Uyloan gave GlobalPort the lead anew and held it during the middle part of the final frame.

But Alaska used a crucial 8-2 run to take the lead for good as GlobalPort lost steam in the end.

Abueva actually put up an all-around performance reminiscent of his NCAA days as he also made 14 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and three steals for the Aces, who solidified their hold of the top spot with their fifth straight win.

Taggart, a former college teammate of NBA superstar Derrick Rose, had an impressive first game as Calvin Warner's replacement for the Batang Pier, making 36 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, although he committed seven turnovers.

Taking over the starting spots of Romeo and Pringle, Paolo Taha and Jeric Fortuna had their best outings in a GlobalPort kit with 11 markers each.

Box Scores:

Alaska 103-Abueva 29, Edwards 21, Manuel 12, Exciminiano 10, Jazul 8, Banchero 6, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 5, Casio 2, Eman 2, Menk 2, Dela Cruz 0, Hontiveros 0, Racal 0

GlobalPort 101-Taggart 36, Jensen 13, Uyloan 12, Fortuna 11, Taha 11, Yeo 7, Washington 5, Mamaril 4, Semerad 2, Kramer 0, Maierhofer 0

Quarterscores: 16-30, 48-51, 74-78, 103-101

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno