REPORTS about Alaska star Calvin Abueva having been traded to NLEX were, plain and simple, a big hoax.
Dickie Bachmann, team manager of the Aces, vehemently denied rumors circulating online that Abueva is set to rejoin his former D-League ballclub, saying the team is focused on keeping its core intact while trying to fit in rookie picks Chris Banchero and Rome Dela Rosa.
“Nope (it’s not true),” Bachmann claimed.
Alaska coach Alex Compton also denied tinkering about the possibility of tweaking the team roster, saying the only change Alaska has done so far in the offseason is to sign sweet-shooting wingman Josh Vanladingham to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
“Not even in our dreams,” said Compton emphatically.
While it has been NLEX’s dream to reunite all players who suited up for them in the D-League now that the franchise has made it to the PBA, team manager Ronald Dulatre said the Road Warriors have always respected Alaska’s rights on 'The Beast.'
“Alam naman natin ang rules. Kahit gusto namin si Calvin or iba pang players na dating nasa amin, hindi kami puwedeng gumalaw ng basta-basta,” he said.
“We know the league rules. And if ever gusto talaga namin, we will talk to the management of Alaska. Sa ngayon wala kaming hakbang na ganyan,” added the soft-spoken NLEX official.
Lawyer Charlie Chua, adviser of Abueva, also laughed off the reports, stressing he doesn’t expect Alaska to let go of the mercurial undersized power forward.
“Wala namang ganyang usapan. Kung may hakbang ang NLEX, di sana sa amin din muna dumaan 'yun. Close sa amin ang NLEX,” said Chua, who is the most trusted lieutenant of Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda, agent of Abueva.
“Andami naming transaksyon ng players sa NLEX at lahat ng galaw nila sa mga players namin sinasabi nila. I don’t think this (Abueva) will be an exemption,” added the lawyer-sportsman.
Abueva, the former Rookie of the Year, has one more year left in his contract with Alaska, but stands to become one of the most sought-after free agents by next season.
Alaska sports manager CK Kanapi said Abueva is a valuable piece for the Aces.
“The fact that he became of a rookie of the year says it all,” said Kanapi who is very close to the hard-nosed Alaska forward.