Abueva believes now is ‘best time’ for Magnolia to win title
MANILA, Philippines—It’s been eight years since Calvin Abueva won his only title in the PBA and that near-decade long wait has constantly gnawed at him.
But Abueva thinks ending that title drought may be close.
The 6-foot-2 forward, who won his title as a rookie with Alaska, said he believes his new team Magnolia is destined to win a championship.
“This team is always destined to be a champion, I know that it’s not just one individual who will take this team to a title but it will take all of our effort to get our trophy,” said Abueva in Filipino after the Hotshots swept Rain or Shine in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Friday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Magnolia ousted the Elasto Painters with a 96-86 win in Game 2 to enter the semifinals.
“This is the best time to get the title. This is a very big opportunity and a huge dream of mine to play and get to hold a championship.”
Before Abueva fulfills his destiny, however, the Hotshots will still have to hurdle two more seven-game series—a trek The Beast is all too familiar with.
“We’re in the land of Mt. Pinatubo now, there will still be many more mountains to get over to reach the end,” said Abueva who finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds against the Elasto Painters.
Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero also knows that their job isn’t finished but he’s aware of Abueva’s immediate impact on the team.
Abueva, who was traded to the Hotshots before the season, is the leading candidate for the Best Player of the Conference after averaging 16.1 points and 9.7 rebounds during the elimination round.
He also has the best plus-minus within the Hotshots at 9.64.
“He adds the toughness, both mentally and physically,” said Victolero. “We had that toughness before, the team has always competed and we’ve been to two straight finals and we won the championship in the Governors’ Cup but there was always that missing piece.”
“Calvin added that toughness and when we got him he didn’t find it difficult to adjust to our system because his style of play is in tune with our organization.”