CALVIN Abueva shrugged off the effects of an eight-hour flight from Dubai just to be able to be on hand in the first practice session of the 17-man Gilas Pilipinas training pool.
The enigmatic Alaska forward showed up in street clothes for the Monday evening training at the Meralco gym, having barely rested since arriving from the Middle East where the Aces played grueling back-to-back games in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup during the weekend.
Also coming in fresh from the Dubai games over the weekend are Ginebra players LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, and Japeth Aguilar.
Abueva quietly listened to coach Tab Baldwin during his pre-training pep talk and later joined the rest of the Gilas team on the court although he did not join his teammates during scrimmages and shooting drills.
“Pagod pa. Kadarating lang namin kanina,” he said on the sidelines.
The Aces played two straight days in Dubai, winning over a tough Mahindra side, 98-94, early Saturday morning (Manila), before losing to Barangay Ginebra the following day, 93-92.
The four-year pro later excused himself and went home early to take a well deserved rest.
But he did not leave the venue without grabbing a takeout of the local dish ‘sinigang sa miso.’
“Kung di ko lang paborito ito, kanina pa ako umuwi,” a smiling Abueva said.
All but one of the 17 players released by the PBA to the Gilas pool showed up, with Ranidel de Ocampo excused after suffering a herniated disc in a freak gym accident.
Also joining the pool are Gilas 3.0 members Dondon Hontiveros, Dondon Hontiveros, and JC Intal.