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    Patron thankful Abueva's Gilas stint opened fans' eyes to 'the real Calvin'

    Oct 1, 2015

    NO one is happier about Calvin Abueva's star turn with Gilas Pilipinas than his longtime patron Dennis Pineda.

    Pineda, Pampanga's vice governor and Abueva's discoverer, said he is proud that most fans who used to loathe the Alaska bruiser have come to know the 'real Calvin' play his heart out for the national team.

    “Very passionate lang talaga lumaro si Calvin. Sabi ko nga sa 'yo dati, si Calvin mamahalin mo nang husto pag lumalaro siya sa team mo, pero kakainisan mo ng todo pag kalaban mo,” said Pineda.

    “Pero ngayon at naglalaro siya para sa bansa, I am sure, naani ni Calvin ang respeto, paniniwala at pagmamahal ng mga fans. Ganun talaga lumaro si Calvin, kahit ensayo, buhos at go-hard. Maiinis ka nga eh kasi sobrang galing talaga,” he added.

    The son of Pampanga governor Lilia Pineda also hopes people have by now come to realize that the enigmatic 'Beast' is only out there to play and win for the fans, regardless of which team he is playing for.

    “Ganun naman si Calvin eh. Gusto lang niya manalo. Kala lang natin na masama ang ugali ng bata pero napakabait 'nun. Tahimik lang 'yun. Maangas lang talaga siya sa court,” said Pineda.

    [See 'Beast' gets emotional after Jones Cup debut: 'Ang sarap palang maglaro para sa bayan']

    Before Abueva made it to the Gilas pool, Pineda was one of those who have been very vocal in pushing for the inclusion of the hard-banging former San Sebastian King Stag.

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    It took Abueva's stint with Gilas to open fans' eyes to Abueva's value to a team, Pineda said.

    “Natutuwa nga ako kasi nabigyan siya ng pagkakataon na lumaro para sa bansa natin. Yan ang hinihintay kong pagkakataon para makilala siya ng mga fans na dati eh ayaw sa kanya. Ngayon nakikita ko magaganda ang comment sa kanya at natutuwa ako kasi nakita na nila ang ‘tunay na Calvin,'” he said.

    “Dati nung hindi talaga siya napapasama, sinasabi ko naman sa 'yo na subukan lang nila. At hindi ako napahiya sa 'yo. Maganda ang nilalaro ni Calvin, halos sa lahat nagco-contribute siya,” he said.

    [See Abueva as Gilas point guard? Why not?]

    Pineda, who has a growing stable of players in Pampanga and still handles the careers of Arwind Santos, Ian Sangalang and also takes pride in the upsides Abueva brings to Gilas’ campaign in the Rio Olympics qualifier.

    Abueva with longtime patron Dennis Pineda and wife Yolly. Snow Badua

    “Kita niyo naman pag nasa court siya, starter siya ng energy ng team. Ibang ibang energy ang hinahatid ng bata, nakakahawa talaga at very exciting,” said Pineda.

    “Malakas kasi ang katawan ni Calvin at hindi siya takot makipagsabayan kahit na anong lahi pa ang kalaban,” he said. “Sinasabi ko sa 'yo, proud si Calvin maging Pilipino.”

    Pineda also bared how excited Abueva is to be part of this Gilas mission, saying he constantly gets calls from his ward during lulls from games and practices.

    “Lagi niya ko tinatawagan at kinuwento nung bata sa akin kung gaano siya kasaya na isuot ang bandila natin. Sa pananalita ni Calvin, hindi masukat ang kaligayahan niya,” he said.

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    View video of interview with Pineda:


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