CALVIN Abueva has already accepted his fate of not being able to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the coming international window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifier.
But that wouldn't stop him from joining the team in its weekly scrimmages or even its daily practices in February.
Abueva attended Gilas Pilipinas' training on Monday at the Meralco gym after being a no-show the past three weeks that led to him being dropped from the pool along with Raymund Almazan.
The Alaska forward said he already apologized to national coach Chot Reyes for his absence which he attributed to a 'family matter.'
And he doesn't mind practicing with the team even though Reyes had already closed the door on his inclusion in the roster in games against Australia on Feb. 22 in Melbourne and against Japan at home on Feb. 25.
"Hindi naman masakit sa akin na hindi na ako makakapaglaro (dito sa window)," he said. "Ang iniisip ko lang, makasama lang ako dito (practice) kasi part pa naman ako ng team."
“Kaya heto ako, kahit hindi ako makapaglaro sa tournament na ito (window), at least nandito ako at nakasuporta.”
The 29-year-old native of Angeles, Pampanga personally called up Reyes the morning of Monday, not necessarily to ask the Gilas coach to reconsider on his decision to cut him from the team but more on his desire to join his teammates in practice and help prepare the team.
Reyes made it clear to Abueva that he’s always welcome at Gilas.
“He’s welcome because he’s still part of the team. It’s just that he’s not gonna be part of the pool because like I said, it’s unfair to the guys who are always been here and never missed (practices). And he understands, naintindihan naman niya,” said Reyes after the Gilas practice.
Besides, the veteran coach told Abueva it would be better for him to concentrate first attending to his personal problem.
“Sabi ko it’s also best he focus on that first kasi kung maglalaro siya rito he’ll not be 100 percent focus din naman, so sabi he just takes care of those things first,” Reyes added.
Reyes said there’s still a lot of window of opportunity where Abueva can rejoin and be included in the Gilas pool again.
“He understands it like a true professional,” said the Gilas mentor.
Abueva also took the occasion to apologize to Alaska management after skipping a number of the Aces’ practices and even their PBA Philippine Cup game against Blackwater last Saturday, which fortunately, the team won.
“Pati sa management ng Alaska, humihingi rin ako ng dispensa,” said ‘The Beast.’
The time he was away from Gilas, according to Abueva, didn’t diminish his desire to carry the country’s colors in international tournaments, which he said remains among his priorities.
“Naumpisahan ko na, bakit ko naman hindi tatapusin,” he stressed.