ALASKA Milk team owner Wilfred Uytengsu believes Calvin Abueva deserves the Rookie of the Year award more than anyone in his batch.
“His statistics, performance and impact to our team and the league speak for themselves,” said Uytengsu told Spin.ph on the day of the Annual Leo Awards where the season's top individual performers will be honored.
The double-double machine out of San Sebastian was sensational in the first two conferences of the season, leading Alaska to the Commissioner's Cup title while inspiring talk of a historic rookie-MVP year.
However, a dip in his performance in the season-ending Governors' Cup, as well as a late-season rise by top overall pick June Mar Fajardo of Petron, have endangered his claim to the top rookie honor.
[For full story, see After inspiring talk of rookie-MVP year, Abueva in danger of coming out empty-handed]
But Uytengsu is so convinced that Abueva deserves the honor that he declared "politics would be the only reason he would not receive the ROY!”
The Alaska owner's sentiments were echoed by Abueva’s agent and adviser Charlie Chua.
“Siya naman talaga dapat (ang ROY) eh. Mahaba yung naipundar nung bata. Napag-champion pa niya ang Alaska,” said Chua, chief executive of Pampanga vice governor and Abueva patron Dennis Pineda.
“Kita mo naman yung stats ni Calvin. Ang laki talaga nang na-i-contribute niya sa Alaska,” added the lawyer, who likewise thanked Uytengsu for standing by the Aces rookie.