Earful from Louie Alas fired up Phoenix in Game 3 win, says Calvin Abueva
MANILA, Philippines—Calvin Abueva is usually the one bringing the fire for his team, and seeing someone else show off that intensity was a bit of a new experience for him.
Phoenix’ do-it-all forward said he saw Fuel Masters head coach Louie Alas blow his fuse after their 92-82 loss to San Miguel in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals and that lit the fire in them to take it to the conference’s defending champion.
Abueva led the Fuel Masters in their cardiac 92-90 win over the Beermen in Game 3 Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum and he said their added motivation was due to watching the usually calm Alas get lash out.
“Actually, we were rattled after Game 2 because coach Louie was angry at us,” said Abueva in Filipino. “He was livid so when we arrived for practice [the next day] we worked harder and he was okay with us once again.”
“We didn’t think about anything else except this Game 3.”
One of the things that irked Alas in Game 2 was the Fuel Masters got outscored, 29-19, in the fourth quarter.
Phoenix struggled late in the fourth quarter for the second straight game after it squandered its seven-point lead, 80-73.
Only this time, the Fuel Masters escaped after Chris Ross missed what could’ve been the game winning 3-pointer for the Beermen.
Abueva finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and two steals as the Fuel Masters trimmed the series deficit to 2-1.
“We all know that they’re a strong team and that they can win this Game 3 but of course we wont be deterred and we will fight until the end,” said Abueva.