Phoenix focused on bigger picture as Abueva denied from joining bubble
MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix interim head coach Topex Robinson would rather focus on the things they can control rather than contemplate on the possible absence of Calvin Abueva in the PBA restart in Clark, Pampanga.
The PBA denied Abueva’s inclusion in the Fuel Masters’ roster for the bubble, extending his absence from competitive play to 15 months.
“Actually right now, I was telling the team we want to focus on the things we can control,” said Robinson in a phone conversation with Inquirer Friday. “That’s the PBA and we have to respect the decision about Calvin.”
“We don’t have the time right now to contemplate.”
Abueva has been suspended since July of 2019 after a verbal altercation with Bobby Ray Parks’ girlfriend Maika Rivera then followed it up with a physical fight with then TNT import Terrence Jones.
The league mandated that Abueva undergo therapy on top of his suspension but it seems that the polarizing forward will still have to wait a little longer before returning to action.
Robinson said that the team is still hoping that Abueva is allowed to join them in the bubble in the two days before teams start arriving at Quest Hotel.
“We’re still hoping that of course he’s allowed to come with us. It’s going to be a huge adjustment because we know what he can bring,” said Robinson. “We’re not expecting much, but we’re still hoping.”
With the absence of Abueva, Robinson said other players will have the opportunity for more minutes the chance to step up to help the Fuel Masters succeed in Pampanga.
“We’re not looking at what’s not there, but this is an opportunity for the other players to bring the best out of them,” said Robinson.
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