WATCHING Calvin Abueva do his stuff during the PBA All-Star game had former national coach Chot Reyes pondering on what could have been had the energetic forward been included in Gilas Pilipinas during its run in both the Fiba World Cup and Asian Games last year.
Now the head of Sports5, Reyes admitted on national television he moved heaven and earth to tap Abueva for the national team, believing 'The Beast' would be a great asset especially on defense who could spell trouble to some of the best players in the Asian region.
Reyes even cited how Abueva could have made a difference in Gilas’ stint guarding the likes of Iran’s Samad Nikkhah Bahrami and Mahdi Kamrani.
The Iranian pair played a key role when the Asian champion came back and beat Gilas Pilipinas, 68-63, during the Asiad in Incheon, South Korea.
“Definitely, Calvin can guard the likes of Bahrami, Kamrani, and the Korean shooters,” said Reyes during his appearance in the PBA All-Star game telecast live from Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
The Alaska forward and former Rookie of the Year tallied a game-high 37 points to go with 16 rebounds and seven assists as he teamed up with Terrence Romeo in rallying the South All-Stars past their North counterpart, 166-161.
Reyes said it was unfortunate Abueva wasn’t available for Gilas last year after nursing various injuries.
“Unfortunately, hindi siya puwede nun,” Reyes stressed.