HIS stint with the national team has definitely endeared Calvin Abueva to basketball fans both locally and internationally.
The enigmatic Alaska forward had been extended an invitation to play in next month’s Fiba 3x3 All Stars in Doha, Qatar following his scintillating performance in the recent Fiba 3x3 World Tour in Abu Dhabi playing for the Manila North.
The communication was coursed through the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), but executive director Sonny Barrios doubts if Abueva can participate in the December 11 meet owing to the ongoing Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
Barrios said meet organizers were elated with the response of the Filipino community to the national team led by Abueva and composed of Vic Manuel, Troy Rosario, and Karl Dehesa, especially after seeing the playing venue bursting to the rafters whenever Manila North would play.
The Filipinos, though, could only finish in sixth place after running smack into eventual champion Novi Sad in the knockout stage.
“They know the drawing capacity of the Filipinos especially si Calvin,” said Barrios, who was a witness to how Manila North was given a rock star treatment in the Middle East.
“Imagine all players and officials are supposed to ride together in a shuttle service going to and out of the venue. Pero dahil pinagkakaguluhan nga sila Calvin, ang worry ng mga organizers hindi makakaalis ‘yung shuttle on time,” said Barrios.
“Kaya we were instead given our own car service. Kami lang ang team na binigyan ng ganoong privilege.”
The SBP official however, didn’t make a commitment about Abueva playing in the All-Stars.
“Alam naman natin ongoing yung PBA so naturally he needs clearance from his mother team,” said the former PBA commissioner.
As it is, four players from Doha, Ljubljana, Saskatoon, and Tokyo earned tickets for their respective teams for the one-day event after topping the individual world rankings in their respective catchment area.
The four are Yaseen Musa, Jasmin Hercegovac, Michael Linklater, and Tomoya Ochiai. They have until November 15 to confirm their final roster.
Filipino fans in the Middle East, however, still have a chance to see Abueva in action as Alaska will be playing back-to-back games in Dubai this weekend in the first overseas games for the league this season.
The Aces will take on boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and Mahindra Enforces first on Friday, before battling Barangay Ginebra the following day.