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    Calvin Abueva vows next Gilas stint will have different ending: 'Hindi laging ganito tayo'

    Oct 7, 2015
    A frustrated Calvin Abueva alone in the bus after the loss to China. Gerry Ramos

    CALVIN Abueva admitted learning a lot in his first ever stint with Gilas Pilipinas, an experience he said he’ll always cherish especially with the entire Filipino nation supporting the team every step of the way.

    “Madami akong natutunan pero higit sa lahat, sobrang saya ko isuot ang bandila. Iba ang feeling pag buong sambayanan mo ang nag-che-cheer sa iyo,” said Abueva, back in the country following the national team’s silver medal finish in the recent Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.

    “Hindi ko alam paano kung paano i-express ang nararamdaman ko, pero ang sarap talaga lalo na uuwi kang bayani sa mga kababayan mo. Sayang nga di natin naabot yung misyon natin. Bawi na lang next time," he said.

    One of the revelations in the team under coach Tab Baldwin, the undersized Alaska power forward said playing against the best in Asia made him an even better player.

    “Iba ang experience dun, kasi malalaki ang kalaban tapos araw-araw iba ang nakakatapat mo. Kaya masasanay ka na mangapa muna sa una, tapos sa sarili mo hahanapin mo laro mo at diskarte," said the pride of Angeles City.

    He also shrugged off the fourth quarter incident that marred Gilas’ 78-67 loss to China in the championship game that saw rowdy Chinese fans giving him the ‘dirty finger’ after bumping gunner Ailun Guo as he headed towards the bench following his fifth and final personal foul.

    “Sanay naman tayo sa ganun. Wag lang nila tayong gagalawin, tatanggapin ko ng maluwag mga pangungutya nila," he said.

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    The top player of longtime basketball patron and Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda, however, regretted the lackluster performance of the team in the title match against China, which drew support from a boisterous crowd inside the Changsha Social Work Colleges gymnasium.

    “Nanghihinayang nga ako kasi hindi tayo nakapagpakita ng mabuti run. Ang lalaki nila saka medyo agrabyado tayo sa alam mo na (officiating). Hindi ka makaka-focus sa depensa, ang ninipis kasi talaga," he said of the way officiating went during the winner-take-all match.

    “Pero babawi tayo, hindi laging ganito tayo, tandaan n'yo yan."

    Given another chance to don the national colors in the future, Abueva said he’d willingly do so.

    “Basta’t  walang injury at na-invite tayo, laban tayo. Alam mo naman na basketball lang ang kaligayahan natin eh," he said.

    “Alam mo naman, pangarap talaga natin maglaro sa national team. Bibihira napipili dito. Sana kahit papano sa pagsama ko ngayon sa Gilas, napasaya ko at nagawang proud ang mga Cabalen natin dito sa Pilipinas," said the Pampangueno out of San Sebastian.

    The former NCAA MVP, however, denied reports circulating in different social media about an offer tendered to him and fellow Gilas newcomer Terrence Romeo about the possibility of playing in the NBA.

    “Walang offer na ganun. Walang lumapit sa amin," said ‘The Beast.’

    “Pero kahit wala nun, mas masaya kami na mapasaya at ma-impress natin mga kababayan natin. Sana nakita nila na ibinigay namin ang lahat sa kanila. Tumanggap kami ng mga bagong roles para sa team, nag-sakripisyo kami," said Abueva.

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    Following a grueling stint with Gilas in the past two months,  Abueva will treat his family to a short vacation before returning to national team duty as part of the Philippine team seeing action in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour set in Abu Dhabi on October 15-16, and with mother ballclub Alaska for the 41st season of the PBA.

    “Bakasyon lang una ko, recharge kaunti, tapos hataw na naman sa trabaho... mahal natin trabaho natin," he said.

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    A frustrated Calvin Abueva alone in the bus after the loss to China. Gerry Ramos
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