It was a special moment for the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters with Calvin Abueva coming back from a 16-month suspension.
The bench was cheering the team on as the Fuel Masters came charging back an early 14-point deficit and took control in the fourth quarter.
“Even if Calvin is here, the guys are helping each other. The bench was cheering during the run. And this is something special for us,” said Fuel Masters’ coach Topex Robinson.
And this how the Fuel Masters celebrated Abueva’s return, by posting 114-110 triumph over NLEX in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup on Monday night at the Angeles University Foundation Arena in Angeles, Pampanga.
Abueva hardly showed any rust after his suspension was lifted Sunday.
With over 120,000 fans watching the Fuel Masters play and win from Facebook Live, the 6’1” Abueva chipped in 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists in his first game in over a year.
And his energy on the floor eventually caught on with the rest of his teammates as they fought to remain on top in the final period.
“Ito ang una kong laro. Bigay todo ako dito, at dinoble ko ang effort para sa team,” said Abueva.
Matthew Wright powered the Fuel Masters with four 3-pointers and a 28-point tally, while Jason Perkins finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out with 1:19 remaining.