Abueva shocked by Magnolia trade, grateful to Phoenix
MANILA, Philippines—It came as a shock to many, even to the man himself, when Phoenix traded Calvin Abueva to Magnolia
“I was shocked. I did not know what my first reaction was going to be. My friend knew about it first. I was just surprised to find out was I traded,” Abueva said in Filipino.
While he was happy with the trade, the controversial player couldn’t help but feel bittersweet about the move.
“Of course there’s regret because during the bubble we’re really close with each other, we’re always together. It was as if we’re inside Boys Town because we can’t go out, and you’re with the same people everyday and in every corner of the hotel there’s your teammate.”
“Of course it hurts that I was traded but the good thing is I landed on a good place, that’s the one thing I’m happy with.”
Abueva served a suspension that lasted more than a year starting in June 2019 and came back to Phoenix a renewed man posting a double-double average while playing alongside Matthew Wright, Justin Chua, and Jason Perkins with head coach Topex Robinson guiding the bunch.
His return saw him average 15.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 steals across 12 games while helping the Fuel Masters to the semifinals of the Philippine Cup.
The Beast’s change in demeanor even earned him a nomination for the league’s Sportsmanship Award, which ultimately went to Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson.
This change of demeanor was thanks largely to Abueva’s dedication to his return but Robinson was also an integral part of the new image.
Robinson was Abueva’s coach during his college days in San Sebastian and the two remained close throughout the years with Alaska. In 2018, the coach and play duo were reunited again at the Fuel Masters.
“I’ve bonded with coach Topex since college and when I got to Alaska he was also there then he was there when I got to Phoenix,” said Abueva. “Of course I’ll miss him because I’m that person who’ll always play around with him and when we become opponents I’ll talk trash at him, in a playful way. Well, he shouldn’t at least wait for me outside.”
Abueva, though, said he has no hard feelings for Phoenix and he is grateful to the organization for helping him during his lengthy ban.
In fact, he just signed a three-year extension with the team a few months ago.
“I don’t have any hard feelings for Phoenix,” said Abueva. “They were there when I needed the guidance. They helped me when I got suspended and the management didn’t leave me behind when I needed help. I never felt that they gave up on me and I know that there will come a point that you will be traded.”
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