MANILA, Philippines – Rookie Calvin Abueva has emerged as a strong contender for Best Player of the Conference (BPC) honors on his first year in the PBA, according to former Rookie of the Year awardee Danny Seigle.
Abueva, who is running second in the BPC race behind Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos, helped Alaska secure a semifinals seat in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“I think that [in] itself is already an achievement,” said Seigle in the league’s official website. “For me, the best player of the conference should be given to an individual who helped his team reach a higher level.”
Seigle was the last rookie to win the BPC award, having helped San Miguel Beer win the 1999 Governors’ Cup.
“That was a long time ago,” Seigle recalled. “But I was blessed at that time that I was involved in a team committed to win and has teammates who think of one common goal and that is to win championships.”
Abueva immediately suited up for Alaska after his team, the San Sebastian Stags, got eliminated by Letran in the 2012 NCAA semifinals.
His presence made an immediate impact on the Aces, who made it into the PBA Final 4 for the first time since parting ways with long-time coach Tim Cone last season.
During the Philippine Cup eliminations, Abueva averaged 14.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals for a total of 32.7 statistical points per game.
Boosting Abueva’s chances for the BCP award was the elimination of Santos’ Petron Blaze from the Philippine Cup contention.
The Boosters got booted out by San Mig Coffee in the quarterfinal round.
“Ultimately, I have to favor the guy who gets his team deep into the playoffs,” said Seigle.
“Winning should be every player’s objective. The individual award is an added bonus, but should be credited by team effort, in my opinion,” he added.