Phoenix Super LPG hopes to build on the successful comeback of Calvin Abueva when it battles his former team Alaska on Thursday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
What Abueva has for an encore will be known in the 4 p.m. opener as the Fuel Masters (4-2) go for a third straight victory against the Aces (4-3), who are also riding on an impressive run of three wins in the last four outings.
Unbeaten leader TNT looks to shrug off the rust factor as it aims for a sixth win opposite slumping NLEX (1-5) at 6:45 p.m.
The Tropang Giga are slated to see action for the first time in eight days after Monday’s game against the NorthPort Batang Pier was postponed as a precautionary measure after facing the Blackwater Elite last week.
One of Blackwater’s player is currently under quarantine after he had an initial positive result for COVID-19. He has since been declared negative in the succeeding antigen and RT-PCR tests.
Abueva played as if he was not out of action for 16 months due to an indefinite suspension, posting 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Phoenix’s 114-110 triumph against NLEX.
With Abueva back, many see Phoenix as a team with a legitimate chance of winning the crown, something Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso acknowledges.
“We’re in a situation where Phoenix is already playing well, they added Calvin, who would give them an extra spark — extra All-Star. So we’re gonna have our hands full,” said Cariaso as he eyes to keep the same grit that enabled Alaska to buck a 0-2 start.
Alaska is coming off a 99-96 victory over Terrafirma last Tuesday.