Phoenix’s Abueva makes much-awaited return vs NLEX
MANILA, Philippines — It took more than a year before Calvin Abueva was ultimately allowed to return to the PBA, but that long wait was officially over.
Abueva, upon completion of his final requirements set by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), will play his first game after 16 months on Monday when Phoenix takes on NLEX in the Philippine Cup.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said he received the formal communication that Abueva cleared his requirements on Friday evening and that he and his team ultimately evaluated it. But it took one more sleep before “The Beast” was officially given the good news.
Marcial was informed about Abueva’s status during Phoenix’s game against Magnolia in a match won by the Fuel Masters, 91-84.
“Friday I was already told that Calvin completed his requirements and by Friday evening, during Phoenix’s game against Magnolia I received the notice that the completion was formalized,” said Marcial in Filipino in a virtual press conference Sunday.
Marcial informed Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia, head coach Topex Robinson, and Abueva during a meeting on Saturday morning that the forward has been cleared to play.
“I then told them after the game when we were in the hotel that we’ll have a meeting Saturday morning. Then Saturday morning came I talked to Mr. Bugia, coach Topex, and Calvin and I told them that he’s completed the requirements and that he’ll be able to play on Monday.”
Abueva, who’s become the Fuel Masters’ unofficial chef in the bubble, was suspended in June 2019 when he got into a verbal altercation with Maika Rivera, Bobby Ray Parks Jr.’s girlfriend, and a tussle with then-TNT import Terrence Jones, whom he clotheslined during a game.
He was allowed to practice in September and was also given the approval to join Phoenix in the bubble.
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