NO amount of fatigue and pain can stop Calvin Abueva from representing the country in its bid for a spot in the Summer Olympics.
The Alaska star has been playing virtually non-stop since last year, having seen action for Gilas Pilipinas and the 3-on-3 teams on top of suiting up for Alaska in two PBA conferences where the Aces reached the finals both times.
That unwavering commitment to the country was one of the reasons he was named Spin.ph Sportsman of the Year for 2015. Abueva did admit the grueling schedule is taking its toll, but the desire to fly the flag is still far greater than the need to rest.
“Medyo may nararamdaman ng konti pero wala naman yun,” the 28-year-old Aces workhorse said after Gilas practice on Thursday. “Andito tayo sa big league, ‘di na natin mararamdaman yun. Pag ‘di na kaya, wala tayong magagawa. Pero ngayon, focus lang talaga.”
“As a player naman, simula nung last year pa, talagang walang pahinga: todo sipag, todo laro sa practice,” he added. “Ngayon tuloy-tuloy pa rin. Wala talagang rest eh. Pero pursigido pa rin na para sa bayan, ilalaro natin ito sa qualifiers.”
And Abueva, on his second day back in practice after resting for almost a week following the Aces’ loss to Rain or Shine in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals last week, is doubly motivated by his mother team’s most recent hearbreak.
“Lagi nilang binabanggit yung past na liga, pero ibang league itong papasukan natin,” the newly crowned Best Player of the Commissioner’s Cup said. “Big league ito eh. Talagang fofocus ka, ibibigay ang lahat para sa laban na ito.”
Abueva hopes to get up to speed after missing five days of practice.
“Masaya na back to practice, talagang hard work talaga,” he said. “’Di mo pwedeng pabayaan ito kasi once na pabayaan mo, mawawala ka sa play, mawawala ka sa focus sa game.”