ALASKA coach Alex Compton refused to confirm whether Calvin Abueva has been invited to be part of Gilas Pilipinas, but admitted it would be an honor for the franchise to have one of its players become part of the national team bound for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
Compton told reporters during the opening day of the NBA Fit Week on Wednesday that he’ll definitely be proud if someone from Alaska is invited to form part of the Gilas training pool.
Sources told Spin.ph Abueva has been called up for the national squad to be handled by Tab Baldwin, with the invitation coursed through Compton himself.
“I’m kinda a by-standard like you guys,” said the soft-spoken American mentor. “But I’m proud of the guys who will get invited. That’s great. Hopefully, that will help them as well. Just being invited will be a great experience for them.”
‘The Beast’ has been one of the players Filipino basketball fans have been longing to see play for Gilas, owing to his tenacity and energy inside the court despite being undersized for the forward position at 6-2 1/2 by international standards.
Compton declined to state whether the power forward out of San Sebastian will be a good fit for the international game, saying his insights are limited to what Abueva has been doing for the Aces in the PBA.
“In terms of comments on whether I know he’ll be great or mediocre (in the international game), I don’t know. I’m really glad we have him with Alaska. You guys can see what he can do,” said Compton.
“Again, I love Calvin. I’m glad he is on our team. I don’t know the international game being a casual observer as well,” he added.
Abueva, according to Spin.ph sources, was initially not part of the 26-man line-up submitted by Baldwin to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) as part of the national training pool, but has since been reconsidered for inclusion following the unavailability of some players like June Mar Fajardo and Marc Pingris.
Set in Changsha, China from September 23 to October 3, the Fiba-Asia tilt serves as qualifier to the 2016 Rio de Jainero Olympics.