ALASKA forward Calvin Abueva was surprised to learn that he has committed to play for one of the Philippine teams in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Asia Pacific leg which the Philippines is hosting for the first time on July 19-20 at the SM Megamall.
Still, 'The Beast' said he is looking forward to the wearing the national tri-colors for the first time.
“Wala pang sinasabi sa akin na kasali ako," said the rugged forward when asked by Spin.ph about his commitment to beef up one of four Philippine teams seeing action in the July tournament, adding he himself had only just read about it in the news.
"Saka ngayon kasi, focused pa kami dito (PBA Governors Cup semifinal series) bago ko pasukin yang ibang liga na naman,” Abueva added, hours before tipoff of Game Three against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Abueva, nonetheless, said he is looking forward to taking part in the tournament, which would mark the first time in his career that he will play for a Philippine team.
He was eyed by Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes to beef up the national team pool in last year's Fiba-Asia championship, but the plan did not push through.
“Ngayon pa lang (represent the country). Yung dati kasi sa Gilas, di ako nakapag-yes dahil after nga nung (Commissioner’s Cup ) Finals, eh ngayon may opportunity na,” the Alaska sophomore said.
“Kahit 3x3 yan, para naman sa bayan. Malaking bagay ring makapaglaro ako para maipakita mo kung ano ang Pilipino.”
“Dati, nung bata pa ako, nakapaglaro na ako ng ganyan (3x3). Pero ngayon ibang adjustment lang uli,” he said. “Ibang challenge 'yan.”
Twelve teams from the Asia Pacific region, including 3x3 world champion Qatar, are set to compete in the first-ever 3x3 leg to be staged in the Philippines.
Also competing are two teams from Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, and Lebanon in one of six stops of the World Tour before culminating in the finals set October 11-12 in Tokyo.