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Louie Alas pins hope on struggling Abueva, and latter delivers for Phoenix

The Phoenix coaching staff made a good call when they told Head Coach Louie Alas that Calvin Abueva will be reliable down the stretch. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Simply put, Phoenix's Calvin Abueva had an off night on Wednesday against Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Abueva only made 2-of-13 field goals and 5-of-10 free throws as the Fuel Masters could not maintain an impressive start and let the Bolts force overtime and even come close to stealing the win.

"Actually, understatement yung 'masama'," Coach Louie Alas described how he found Abueva's performance.

Normally, a head coach would sit out a struggling player, even if he's one of his team's stars, the rest of the game in hopes that the other players will step up on his behalf.

But with the game on the line, Alas opted to keep Abueva in the game especially that Jason Perkins already fouled out.

"Yung mga assistant coach ko, [sinabi,] 'Coach... kailangan mo yan sa dulo," Alas relayed what his coaching staff told him that led to the said gamble.

The said move paid dividends as Abueva's last made field goal turned out to be the game-winner in the Fuel Masters' 93-92 squeaker over the Bolts.

[Related Story: Abueva scores game-winner as Phoenix upends Meralco in OT]

"It happened. Kanya yung winning basket," Alas further said. "Really, patience is a virtue."

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