PHOENIX is on cloud nine following the acquisition of Calvin Abueva on Tuesday, saying it expects the former San Sebastian star to be a big difference-maker for its young PBA team.
“He’s definitely going to be a big help for us,” said head coach Louie Alas, who was with Abueva for several years at Alaska before taking on the Phoenix job.
Phoenix chief assistant coach Topex Robinson, who also spent time with the rugged forward at Alaska, echoed those sentiments, saying: “It might be a double-bladed sword, but Calvin is a high risk-high reward player. Yun lang naman talaga yun eh, you have to take the bad with the good.”
Abueva fell out of favor with Alaska management after going AWOL (absent without leave) twice this season, first in the early goings of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup and once again after the 2018 PBA All-Star Week last May.
That seemed to be the final straw as team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu announced an indefinite suspension that lasted for the entirety of the Aces' valiant run to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Despite those issues, Phoenix governor Raymund Zorrilla was mighty glad to have the hardworking forward in the team’s camp.
“We are elated with the acquisition of Calvin Abueva. Everyone deserves a chance to move on and showcase his talents. Definitely he will be a boost to our young team with his skills, hustle, and energy,” he said.
With Abueva’s entry, the Fuel Masters are expected to be a more competitive team this season-ending 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup after failing to make it to the playoffs in the first two conferences.