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Abueva making strong case for Finals MVP after resurgence

PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Since winning the Best Player of the Conference award, Calvin Abueva became a man on a mission, lifting Alaska halfway into an epic comeback from 0-3 down in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals against Rain Or Shine.

Abueva officially joined the Finals MVP conversation as per a copy of the finals stats obtained by Dugout Philippines on Monday.

Abueva zoomed to second in scoring and in assists just below fellow Aces Rob Dozier and Chris Banchero respectively, in rebounding behind Dozier's Elasto Painters counterpart Pierre Henderson-Niles, and in steals behind Niles' comrade Jericho Cruz, who was among the Finals MVP frontrunners three games in.

Meanwhile, Abueva is tied with teammate Nonoy Baclao for fifth in blocks, showcasing his all-around game.

The "HimAlaska" can continue on Wednesday night as Alaska will try to force a Game 7 against ROS in Game 6 of the Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 7 p.m.

Should they win on Wednesday and in Friday's Game 7, the Aces could become only the second team to crawl back from 0-3 down to win a title.

Curiously, they also hold the distinction of becoming the first team to bubble a 3-0 lead and lose a best-of-seven titular showdown after the San Miguel Beermen completed the "Beeracle" in the Philippine Cup Finals on Feb. 3.

On the other hand, the E-Painters can finally close out the series on Wednesday night after failing to do so in Games 4 and 5, forcing Coach Yeng Guiao to miss out on his daughter's graduation in London.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno