Expect Calvin Abueva to be more motivated than ever after Gilas snub, says Pineda
Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda recalled that the last time Calvin Abueva suffered a snub back in 2008 after he and fellow Capampangan players Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual were offered to the University of the Philippines Maroons, 'The Beast' strived to become the dominant player that he turned to be at San Sebastian. Jerome Ascano

CALVIN Abueva's discoverer and longtime patron expects 'The Beast' to be motivated by his failure to crack the final lineup of Gilas Pilipinas and strive to become an even better player.

“Mas ma-i-inspire yung bata ngayon sa nangyari siguro, dahil hindi siya nabigyan ng pagkakataon, eh palagay ko lalo pang (magpapakitang gilas yan), ugali ni Calvin yan, ipapakita niya kung ano siya,” said Dennis Pineda, vice governor of Pampanga and Abueva's manager.

“Magsusumikap pa 'yan, marami pa tayong pwedeng makita sa kanya, number one ang puso,” he added.

To back his words, Pineda needed only to recall the last time Abueva suffered a snub - back in 2008 after he and fellow Capampangan players Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual were offered to the University of the Philippines Maroons.

“Dati dinadala ko silang tatlo dun (UP), kaso ang gusto ng school si Ian lang ang kukunin ang kailangan nga raw nila ng malaki. Dun ko una narinig si Calvin na nagtanong: ‘Bakit boss, hindi ba nila kami gusto?’ Pagkatapos nun, subsob na siya lagi sa ensayo,” said Pineda.

“Nakita nyo naman siguro ang nilaro nya sa Baste (San Sebastian) nuon,” added the basketball patron of Abueva, who went on to lead San Sebastian to the NCAA championship in 2009 before leading the college league in scoring, assists, and rebounds in his farewell season with the Stags.

The son of Pampanga governor Lilia Pineda also expects Abueva to take to heart Gilas coach Tab Baldwin's advice to embrace the two-guard role if he hopes to remain an integral part of future national teams.

[See Baldwin encourages Abueva to embrace shooting guard role for overseas play]

Pineda said he won't be surprised if he sees Abueva polishing his mid- and long-range game from hereon.

“Mas mag-iimprove nag shooting nyan ngayon, saka may personal trainer sa shooting 'yan, tingnan nyo mas magiging deadly sa labas yan,” Pineda said.

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Asked about his message to Abueva, Pineda once again gave his fatherly advice.

“Wag kang masiraan ng loob Calvin, kahit ganun 'yung naging desisyon ng Gilas, suportahan pa rin natin yung bansa, focus ka pa rin sa buhay mo. Andyan ang team ng Alaska para ipakita mo pa kung ano yung Calvin Abueva talaga,” he said.

“Merun ka pang pwedeng ipakita, ipakita mo dyan sa team ng Alaska. Tutal yan ang buhay mo, yan ang nagpapasweldo sa yo, bigyan mo ng malasakit yung team at ang tao ang magsasabi kung karapat-dapat ka ba sa Gilas o hindi."

Pineda also tried to pacify the uproar of Abueva fans over the Gilas non-inclusion, encouraging them to keep on supporting the national team, not just one particular player.

“Sana ituloy-tuloy natin ang pagsuporta sa national team, bandila natin yan, wala sanang partisan para sa iisa o ilang players lang. Bansa natin ang dala nung labing dalawang players na yan,” said Pineda, who bared he also asked the province’s sports director Allan Trinidad to do the same.

[See Trinidad on Abueva's Gilas cut: 'Si Calvin 'yung 6-2 na kung lumaro parang 7-footer']

 “Kinausap ko na rin si Allan at pinagsabihan ko. Sabi ko dapat igalang natin desisyon ng Gilas at himukin ang lahat na suportagan ang national team,” he said.

[Watch video of Pineda’s statement here:]

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