Can Calvin Abueva power Phoenix Super LPG to back-to-back victories over powerhouse TNT Tropang Giga in the Semifinals of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup?
That question gets answered 4 p.m., Sunday, November 21 when the two teams clash at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.
Abueva submitted a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds to go with 4 assists and 2 steals to lift Phoenix to a 110-103 victory over TNT last Friday, November 20 which tied their best-of-five showdown at 1-all.
Suspended for over a year the returning Abueva has been playing the best basketball of his career this Philippine Cup. His stellar play negated the 41-point explosion of TNT's Ray Parks who drilled 10 three-pointers in his team's losing stand.
Abueva and Parks almost turned the game into a personal duel as the two carried their respective teams on their shoulders.
Abueva was eventually responsible for Parks’ untimely exit which may have ensured TNT’s defeat. The two were jockeying for a rebound when Parks committed his fifth foul by pushing Abueva on the back with 6:33 to go in the game.
Parks then went out of the game but returned in time to commit a blocking foul on a driving Abueva which led to his disqualification on six fouls with 4:59 to go in the game and TNT leading 92-90.
Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts will likewise go for a second straight victory over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings at 6:30 p.m.
Chris Newsome scored the crucial points to power the Bolts to a 95-77 rout of the Gin Kings also last Friday which tied their own best-of-five Semifinals at 1-all.
Newsome – who scored just 2 points in the first half – exploded 14 in the second half as Meralco erased a 13-point, 42-55, deficit early in the third period to win pulling away.
Meralco shooters Newsome, Allein Maliksi and Baser Amer waxed hot from distance to shred the Ginebra zone defense. Meralco exploded 53 points in the second half against just 27 points from Ginebra.
Meralco also dominated the boards with 53 rebounds against just 44 by Ginebra.
Meralco’s big men Raymond Almazan (11 points, 11 rebounds), Cliff Hodge (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Reynel Hugnatan (9 points, 9 rebounds) simply outworked and outhustled their taller Ginebra counterparts.