Phoenix wants to give Abueva second chance, hopes ‘Beast’ brings out tenacity, energy
Calvin Abueva has a new home at Phoenix Petroleum and the Fuel Masters are thrilled to have the “Beast” in their rotation.
“We’re expecting him to bring in the same passion, tenacity and energy that he brought to Alaska the past six years,” said Phoenix Fuel Masters alternate governor Atty. Raymond Zorrilla.
Taming the beast in Abueva will be one of the challenges of the Phoenix coaching staff led by head coach Louie Alas in their forthcoming PBA Governors Cup campaign.
“Our coaches are familiar with Calvin’s style of play and we hope we could bring out the best in him just like when he played for his previous team,” said Zorrilla.
Alas and Phoenix assistant coach Topex Robinson were part of the Alaska coaching staff when Abueva was acquired by the Aces during the 2012-2013 PBA season.
Abueva, a six-time All-Star and two-time mythical first team awardee, was shipped by the Aces to the Fuel Masters after the 6-foot-3 explosive forward went Awol (absence without leave) in the middle of Alaska’s stint in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Everyone deserves second chances. I talked to him last week and told him, ‘you will start on a clean slate, you are a rookie on our team,’” said Zorrilla.
The Aces, who got Karl Dehesa and Phoenix’s first-round pick next season, won a championship with Abueva in his rookie year and things only turned unfavorable this season when the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay encountered personal problems that spilled over on the court.
With Abueva joining a core reinforced by import Eugene Phelps, the team’s target this conference is to make it into the quarterfinals after missing the playoffs in the past two tournaments.
“We just want to improve our finishes. Hopefully, we can make it to the quarters and we take it from there,” said Zorrilla.
The season-ending conference, which features imports with a height ceiling of 6-foot-5, kicks off on Friday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City with the Meralco Bolts and the Columbian Dyip facing each other in the opener.
The NLEX Road Warriors meet the TNT Ka Tropa in the other match.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.