IN three games as a pro, the man they call 'The Beast' has averaged in double figures in points (15.6) and rebounds (12.7) and played a key role off the bench in three Alaska Milk victories.
Not bad for someone who's still "lost and confused" in coach Luigi Trillo's scheme of things.
The numbers and the performances may not show it, but super rookie Calvin Abueva admits he's still lost and confused at times during practices and in games because of his lack of familiarity with Trillo's triangle offense.
“Di pa ako totally one hundred percent," the second pick overall in the last rookie draft said. "Tingin ko mga 60 percent pa lang pagdating sa play ng team ang alam ko. Di ko pa alam minsan kung ano ginagawa ko."
Told that he has somehow got his share of the rebounds and the points despite the confusion, Abueva snapped: "Madikit lang siguro sa akin ang bola.”
More than that, however, it has been Abueva's brute strength, athleticism and amazing work rate that enabled him to shine in the pros as brightly as he did during his college career with San Sebastian.
He has also vowed to work harder.
“Heto nagsisikap pa para mas gumanda lalo ang laro ko,” said Abueva, who became the only player in history to lead a major local league in scoring, rebounding, and assists in a season.
Abueva also said the Stags' stunning exit from the NCAA Final Four may have been a blessing in disguise for him as it gave him enough time to prepare for his transition to the pro ranks.
“Kung pumasok siguro kami (Stags) sa championship, yung performance ko ngayon (in the PBA), baka ma-late na at di ako masyado makapag-adopt sa team. Pero di siguro para sa amin yung game na yun (NCAA),” explained Abueva, who admits idolizing legendary Ginebra player-coach Sonny Jaworski.
Abueva is thankful also that he has veteran teammates like Nic Belasco, Eddie Laure and Sonny Thoss to teach him the finer points of the PBA game – be it on defense or in post moves.
“Tinuturuan nila ako paano gumalaw sa ilalim. Yung tamang paglaro sa depensa saka opensa din,” he said.