SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – True to his promise, Calvin Abueva personally met with friend and former teammate Ronald Pascual with a big bonus to boot.
Abueva was with pal Ian Sangalang as they finally got reunited with Pascual in a get-together among members of San Sebastian’s famed ‘Pinatubo Trio’ during the Stags' golden run years ago.
The meeting was a fullfilment of a promise made by both Abueva and Sangalang to check on Pascual once their campaigns in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble was over.
Sangalang posted on his Instagram account the reunion among the three on Sunday.
“Sinabi namin sa kanya na after namin (sa bubble), magkikita kami as a friend, as a brother, para mabigyan naman namin siya ng advise kahit papaano,” said the 32-year-old Abueva.
The get-together was made possible after Pascual decided to return to his family in Pampanga after going through what his brother Ronnel described in a Facebook post as the ‘deepest, saddest stage of his life.’
Abueva didn’t go into detail about the personal matters he and Sangalang talked about with Pascual, but mentioned the desire of the 6-foot-3 wingman from Mexico, Pampanga to play in the PBA again.
“Gustung-gusto (na maglaro). Nakikita namin sa kanya na gusto niyang bumalik sa paglalaro,” said the ‘Beast.’
Pascual, the No. 3 overall pick by San Miguel in the 2014 draft, last played for Alaska until the end of the 2018 season.
But having been on a respite for almost two years now, he’s obviously not in game shape, according to Abueva.
“Nakikita ko sa kanya kulang na kulang siya sa conditioning,” added the Phoenix star.
That job has actually began for Pascual, who’s now working out in the house of a common friend where there’s a gym and playing court where he could work out.
“May court doon at least kahit paano makukuha niya yung rythym niya, at mabibigyan din siya ng kumpiyansa,” Abueva disclosed.
The former Rookie of the Year stressed that if Pascual is dead-set on making a basketball comeback, it’s imperative he starts trying to get back in tip-top shape.
“At least hindi man ngayon or by next year, at least nasa momentum na siya, condition na siya,” added Abueva.
If ever, this could be Pascual’s final opportunity, but Abueva believes he’s still good enough for a comeback.
The Angeles City native of course, knows where he’s coming from. Like Pascual, his career has been put in limbo following an indefinite suspension meted on him by the PBA and took 16 long months before he finally made a successful comeback behind the Fuel Masters’ impressive in the league bubble.
If he can do it, so can his friend.
“Thirty-two-years-old puwedeng-puwede pa. Kahit ilang years puwede pa yan,” he said of Pascual.