Calvin Abueva says indefinite suspension helped him reach PBA milestone
MANILA, Philippines–Calvin Abueva described becoming the latest member of the PBA’s 5,000-point club as another milestone to cherish more than two years after serving a 16-month suspension.
“Actually, napaganda pa yun (It actually made things better),” Abueva said after reaching the mark in Magnolia’s 110-95 win over Blackwater on Wednesday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“Naging prepared ako sa pagbalik ko at naayos ko lahat ng mga gusot ko (I became prepared and I was able to fix all the mess I’ve done),” he added.
Abueva was the 96th local player to score that many points, something that seemed impossible to pull off when Abueva was at the low point of his career.
A series of misconducts capped off by a clothesline hit on TNT import Terrence Jones—ironically at the same Ynares floor—while still playing for Phoenix prompted the PBA to suspend Abueva indefinitely in June 2019.
Abueva met several conditions set by commissioner Willie Marcial before being allowed to resume his PBA career in Oct. 2020 inside the Philippine Cup bubble in his home province of Pampanga.
He has since been named in the Mythical Five of the 2020 season during his final stint with Phoenix and was named Best Player of the Conference in his first season with Magnolia in the 2021 Philippine Cup.
The ongoing Governors’ Cup has seen Abueva quietly regaining his role as one of Magnolia’s energy guys. His 27-point, 13-rebound output against the Bossing was Abueva’s third straight double-double and fourth in the third conference.
While there have been some moments of madness since his reinstatement, Abueva has not shown any significant signs of repeating the actions that almost led to the derailment of his colorful career.
Though grateful for the achievement, Abueva is focused more on helping Magnolia win it all despite the difficult odds the team faces entering the quarterfinals. The Hotshots are no longer in contention for a twice-to-beat bonus, per unofficial computation of possible scenarios.
“Individual accomplishments are just a bonus. But the big deal is to get to the Finals,” he said.