CALVIN Abueva flashed his versatility on Wednesday night as he played numerous spots for Gilas Pilipinas in its 107-52 victory over Vietnam in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship.
Even without Andray Blatche, national coach Chot Reyes had the luxury of tinkering with his lineups as he deployed Abueva as a power forward, with the Alaska star responding by providing stability throughout the game.
“We wanted Calvin to play a lot of spots,” Reyes explained. “He plays mostly the wing spots for us but we played him as a four today because we think we will need it for tomorrow.”
“Plus, he had very few minutes in the first half,” he added. “So it's just a part of our balancing and distributing the minutes evenly to everyone and make sure nobody is getting overextended.”
Abueva played 23 minutes, churning out 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting, six boards, two assists, two steals, and one block as a new starter for Gilas this tournament.
“Sa akin kung ano lang pinapagawa ni coach ginagawa ko,” Abueva said when asked about his role on the national team. “Yung mga ine-ensayo ko, yun yung nagagawa ko.”
The highlight of the former NCAA MVP’s do-it-all play came in the middle of the payoff period when he grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast for a strong drive and layup.
“Yun nga, mga bata, more on running ginagawa namin ngayon,” Abueva said. “Kay Chot talaga, pag di ka tumakbo parang patay ang transition ng play namin kaya mostly tumatakbo naman lahat.”
Expect 'The Beast' to run riot against Indonesia – no matter how big or small the margin is.
“Hindi namin iniisip kung malaki o maliit lamang namin. Ang ina-ano namin makakuha ng championship sa laro dito,” Abueva concluded.