Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Calvin Abueva: A Beastly Impact (Alaska vs Air21)

A Beastly Impact
by rick olivares pic by nuki sabio

Every one and their brother and mother (I’m stretching it right there) knows that Calvin Abueva has been an impact player for Alaska in the PBA. He’s obviously a game changer. One of the few who whose game can really change his team’s fortunes. With “The Beast” on the floor, Alaska is not only dangerous but has a chance to win any day of the week.

I decided to track what he does all game long and match it against his stats and the final outcome. Just to be very clear, this is for one game only and not his season and career so far.

A little over an hour from tip off, Abueva is horsing around with Mark Cardona outside their teams’ respective locker rooms. Abueva says that he will block Captain Hook. Cardona looks amused.

1st Quarter Air21 12-7 Alaska 4:30 mark substitute in for Gabby Espinas
Matches up with KG Canaleta
Grabs defensive rebound off a Joseph Yeo missed drive.
Fouled by Wynne Arboleda after rebound play.

Matches up against Vic Manuel.
Sam Eman misses jumper Calvin battles for rebound but doesn’t get the ball.

Guards Vic Manuel drives but elects to pass off.
Carlo Sharma has two attempts inside the paint. Calvin is one of two Aces challenging the shots. Sharma doesn’t score.

Calvin drives on Joseph Yeo but passes to RJ Jazul.

Calvin now matched up against EJ Camson.

Calvin gets the offensive rebounds that he tries to put back. He misses but grabs the offensive rebound and puts in back for his first two points for a 16-9 score, still Air21.

Challenges Camson jumper that misses.

Calvin rushes out to challenge a Wynne Arboleda three-point attempt to close out the first quarter. Arboleda misses. Score after first 12 minutes is 16-9, Air21.

Result: Five challenges. Four missed shots and one pass off. Two points to go with three rebounds with two offensive. Fishes one foul from Arboleda.

2nd Quarter Calvin starts the second period.
Challenges a Sharma attempt for a miss.

Takes a charging foul from Sharma.

Drives against Camson but misses.

Challenges an Elmer Espiritu shot that misses.

Attempts a jumper versus Camson but misses.

Steals the ball from Yeo and is fouled by Chito Jaime.

Hits jumper with Jaime on him, 18-16, still Air21.

Challenges a Renren Ritualo attempt but the Air21 gunner finds a cutting Espiritu who flubs the shot. Abueva with the defensive rebound.

Espiritu, challenged by Abueva, puts back an offensive board off a Yeo miss; 20-16, Air21.

Challenges Asi Taulava for a defensive rebound but the Air21 center wins out.

Calvin drives but is fouled by Espiritu. No free throw attempts; inbound play only.

Challenges Espiritu who misses a jumper.

Subs out for Aldrech Ramos at the 7:01 mark with the score 20-18.

When Calvin went in, Air21 had a five-point lead. Now down to two.

Checks back into the game at the 3:35 mark for Ramos with the score 26-20 for Air21.

Guarding Canaleta and nearly steals the ball from the Air21 forward.

Canaleta scores on Calvin 28-20.

Calvin attempts a trey vs. KG but misses. Abueva knows the shot is short and goes in for a possible offensive rebound. He doesn’t get to it.

Calvin drives on Canaleta and scores, 28-22.

Forces jump ball with Asi at the 2:19 mark. He wins the jump!

Vic Manuel guarding Calvin.
Calvin drives on Bonbon Custodio but misses.

Drives on Manuel and is fouled. Hits both free throws to cut the deficit to 28-24.

With 47.9 seconds left in the quarter, Abueva forces Asi to travel.

Yeo drives; Calvin challenges. The Air21 shooting guard misses.

Score at the end of 24 minutes of play is 29-26.

The lead of six when Calvin went in is now cut to three.

Results: Calvin scores only two points, grabs one rebound, and picks the pocket of one Air21 player. But he challenges eight attempts and wins out on six of them. He is fouled four times, forces a jumpball and a turnover.

3rd Quarter 39-35, Air21. Calvin checks in for Gabby Espinas at the 6:17 mark.
Calvin steals the ball from KG but loses it. Calvin fouls Manuel.

Challenges Manuel for a defensive rebound but doesn’t win out.

Calvin doesn’t put a body on Manuel who delivers a brilliant no-look bounce pass to Bonbon Custodio for a layup; 41-37, Air21.

Calvin misses a wide open jumper.

Calvin fires a forward pass to Nic Belasco but the pass is too strong. Sails out of bounds.

Calvin chalks up an assist off two Tony dela Cruz free throws; 43-39, Air21.

Calvin misses a jumper against Vic Manuel.

Calvin wraps around an assist to Ping Exciminiano inside the lane for a jumper; 44-41 still Air21.

Calvin is whistled for his third foul on a Canaleta three-point attempt. The Air21 forward only makes one free throw for a 45-41 lead.

Calvin scores on a one-handed shot versus Manuel who is called for a foul. Abueva is unable to complete the three-point play; 45-43, Air21.

Canaleta misses a shot and Abueva rebounds.

Nearly turns the ball over but recovers. Later in that possession, RJ Jazul lays the ball in to tie the score at 45-all.

Calvin blocks EJ Camson’s shot from medium range.

Calvin finds Exciminiano for an open trey; 45-48, Alaska now in the lead.

Challenges a Yeo shot that goes in; 47-48, Alaska.

Fouls Carlo Sharma who misses both free throws.

Finds Exciminiano open at the left corner for a three, 49-52, to close out the third period.

Results: Three challenges but only wins on one – the block on Camson.

Two points, three rebounds with two offensive boards, three assists, one steal, and one block. He also gets fouled once.

Fourth Quarter: Calvin starts
Drives on Elmer Espiritu  and is awarded two free throws that he makes good on; 49-54, Alaska. Calvin now with 10 points in the game.

Espiritu tries to retaliate but misses jumper.

Espiritu wins on their third go-around of the quarter when he is fouled by Abueva. The high-leaping forward-center deposits the two freebies to cut the Alaska lead, 54-51.

Sonny Thoss zips a pass inside to a cutting Abueva who is unable to field it. Turnover.

Calvin wins another battle with Espiritu as he gets a foul and to the line. Two free throws means it’s 56-51 for Alaska.

He gets Espiritu to foul him a second time but this time only makes one free throw, 57-51.

Guards Canaleta on the next possession.

Brings down the ball for Alaska for the first time all game long.

He passes to Dondon Hontiveros who misses his shot.

Canaleta misses a three and Calvin rebounds.

Calvin pulls down an offensive rebound and passes to Exciminiano who misses.

Calvin pulls down the offensive board but misses on his putback attempt.

He is lifted at the 8:17 mark and the score now tied a 60-all.

Calvin comes back with 5:56 left in the fourth for Nic Belasco who plays quality minutes. The score is 65-62 for Alaska.

Mac Cardona scores on Calvin; 67-65, Alaska.

Calvin drives on Vic Manuel, 72-67, Alaska.

Calvin turns the ball over off a pass by JVee Casio.

Challenges a Manuel shot that misses.

Joins Sonny Thoss in double teaming Taulava but no go. Asi scores and is fouled. He doesn’t make good on the bonus; 74-72, Alaska.

Calvin puts Manuel on the line. The Air21 power forward hits two; 76-74, still Aces.

JVee misses a runner; Calvin battles for the board but misses the rebound.

With the score tied at 78-all, Abueva misses a long jumper on Manuel.

With 46 seconds left in the quarter, Abueva makes good on his promise to Mac Cardona by blocking him but the loose ball finds its way to Manuel who scores on an undergoal stab to make it 80-78 for Alaska.

With 8.1 seconds left in the game and the score tied, Calvin goes out with a back injury. No one scores. Overtime.

Results: Seven points, three rebounds with two offensive caroms, and one block. In seven challenges on shot attempts, Calvin is only able to stop three. He is also able to pick up two fouls from Air21 players. Yet despite that, the Express are in the game with a chance to win.

Overtime Calvin returns at the 3:11 mark of extension, 87-84, Alaska
Abueva misses on an undergoal stab.

He fouls Manuel on an and-one – his fifth foul – and the game is leveled at 87-all.

Manuel fouls Abueva who only makes one free throw, 88-87.

At the 1:18 mark of overtime, Abueva abuses Manuel in the manner that he did against Espiritu. He scores on an and-one of his own for a 93-89 Alaska lead (off a Thoss assist).

Vic makes it personal as he scores on Calvin, 93-91.

In the final minute, Calvin goes back at Vic but misses. Manuel tries to gain the upper hand but he too misses against Calvin.

RJ Jazul comes up big in points as Alaska takes this 97-91.

Results: Three challenges but Manuel scores off Calvin on two of them. The Beats returns the favor on Manuel as he scores four points of his own.

Alaska picks up its second win in five games.

Final stat line of Abueva: In 30 minutes of play, The Beast chalked up 19 points, nine rebounds (five offensive), four assists, two steals, one block, two turnovers, and five fouls. But here is where the stats do not tell the whole story.

One the 23 shots that Abueva challenged, opponents scored on eight of them. He also picked up eight fouls from Air21 players in addition to forcing a turnover and a jumpball.

In almost every play of Alaska when he was in the ball game, Abueva was a part of them in some way. I might have missed out on a few details but more or less, this is pretty much complete and accurate. I tend to take a high volume of notes during games.

Next time I will try to keep better track of what he does. The data should be interesting.

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