|Right against his former team, Calvin Abueva put up impressive numbers in his Magnolia debut. PBA Images|
MANILA--In a game marred by sloppy offense in the first half, Calvin Abueva was the consistent factor Magnolia needed against his former team.
Abueva put up impressive numbers in his first game as a Hotshot even as the Purefoods franchise pipped Phoenix, 80-73, on Saturday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Abueva put up a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead Magnolia, which survived a slow start and even a wild finish.
After a sluggish first half that saw both teams combining for just 48 points, the lowest since the Hotshots and the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters also only made 48 combined points in the first half of their 2019 Philippine Cup semifinal match, the Hotshots got the better of the Fuel Masters in the third quarter offensive thrust and were up, 74-68, with 2:42 to play off a 6-0 Abueva run.
Phoenix, however, scored five straight in 30 seconds to trim the lead down to just one point with 2:12 left.
Magnolia finally broke free after holding Phoenix scoreless in the end and drilling crucial free throws for the final score.
Paul Lee added 21 points, six rebounds, and two assists for the Hotshots.
Matthew Wright led the Fuel Masters with 20 points, four rebounds, and eight assists.
Vic Manuel posted 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal in his first game with Phoenix.
Jason Perkins had his own double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds with three assists, one block, and two steals.
Chris Banchero sat out his supposed Phoenix debut as he recovers from an ankle sprain.
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