Phoenix happy to have ‘high-risk, high-reward’ Abueva on board
Phoenix took a chance in trading for embattled forward Calvin Abueva and assistant coach Topex Robinson has no doubt the Fuel Masters will be rewarded.
Phoenix on Tuesday acquired Abueva from Alaska in exchange for point guard Karl Dehesa and the rights to the 2019 first round pick.
“I’m sure Calvin will bring a lot of excitement into our team. You gotta love this guy. He’s looking for a home right now and we’re just happy that Phoenix is gonna be his new home,” Robinson told INQUIRER.net on Tuesday.
The Fuel Masters won’t be entirely new for Abueva as he reunites with Robinson, head coach Louie Alas and veteran guard RJ Jazul, all of whom were part of the Aces before.
Alaska decided to part ways with Abueva after six years.
The 30-year-old Abueva was instrumental in the Aces’ championship run in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup and several other finals appearances.
But it wasn’t a smooth ride for Abueva, whose personal issues affected his career with Alaska.
Two months ago, the Aces suspended Abueva indefinitely for going AWOL.
“He’s gonna make mistakes just like everybody else but what’s important here is we’re gonna support him and I’m sure he’s gonna bring it back tenfolds to us,” said Robinson, who steered undefeated Lyceum to its seventh straight win in the NCAA Season 94.
Robinson, who served as assistant coach at Alaska from 2012 to 2017, said he’s already spoken with Abueva, who only played five games for the Aces in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
“I just talked to him earlier and I told him, ‘You have to be grateful for what Alaska has given you. So what’s important now is the opportunity that lies ahead. You have to learn from the mistakes that you’ve committed during the six years of your basketball with Alaska,’ so hopefully, he’s gonna be a different man right now.”
Phoenix hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup where it got blown out by San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals.
Robinson believes Abueva’s arrival will turn the Fuel Masters’ fortunes around.
“That’s one thing for sure. Calvin is always gonna be a high risk, high reward player so as long as we’re gonna play our cards right, I’m sure we’re gonna benefit from this trade.”