IS Alaska star Calvin Abueva on the trading block?
That question should be asked in the wake of word reaching Spin.ph that Alaska is exploring options on possible deals involving 'The Beast' after a season capped by a runner-up finish in the PBA Governors Cup.
The controversial Abueva has signed a three-year, P15.1-million contract with Alaska last May and has been a force for the team all season, earning a place in the yearend Mythical Second Team.
However, a high-ranking San Miguel official confirmed getting feelers for an Abueva trade, adding top management only declined after the Aces sought either Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar or Ian Sangalang in return.
“Masyadong mabigat hinihingi eh. Gusto sana namin kaso ayaw sa itaas eh,” said the SMC source.
With SMC out of the picture, the next option has become the Manny V. Pangilinan group which, sources said, is willing to part with Talk 'N Text guard Ryan Reyes and a future draft pick for Abueva and sweet-shooting guard RJ Jazul.
A better option for Alaska is either Ranidel de Ocampo or Jayson Castro, the source added.
Asked what could compel Alaska to part with a key asset like Abueva, sources have pointed to the skirmishes and controversies 'The Beast' habitually gets involved in which, he said, aren't exactly welcome for a company that strives to maintain a clean-cut image.
“Kilala mo naman ang Alaska. Conservative sila. Minsan hindi in line with the company’s philosophy yung ganung imahe, alam mo na siguro sinasabi ko,” said the source.
The source cited the case of import Wendell McKines who, after playing for Alaska in 2013, wasn't invited back to suit up in 2014 as the Aces opted for Henry Walker. McKines ended up impressing for Rain or Shine last season.
“Sa import nga pag di nagustuhan ng higher-ups ang ugali at on-court attitude, hindi na pinapabalik," he said.
According to insiders, Abueva has gotten wind of the trade talk during the last Governors Cup Finals against San Miguel but was assured by coach Alex Compton that there are so such moves to deal him.
Spin.ph tried to contact Alaska team governor Dickie Bachmann but the official has yet to return calls at posting time.
Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas swore that they have no intention to trade Abueva.
“Hindi totoo 'yan. Walang negosasyon between coach Alex and any other teams,” said Alas.
However, the Aces have in the past also issued denials before dealing away former players like Willie Miller, Joe Devance and even LA Tenorio.
Alas doubts if that is the case this time.
“Hindi naman siguro. The management respects the wisdom of coach Alex. They will inform us and seek our recommendation first before they make any plans,” he said.