Calvin Abueva grateful to Alaska for gambling on him, wants to retire an Aces player
Calvin Abueva in an all-black suit during the Alaska anniversary celebration. Gerry Ramos

CALVIN Abueva is hands down the face of the Alaska franchise today.

If he will have his way, 'The Beast' wants it to remain that way for the rest of his PBA career.

The enigmatic forward said he’s leaving his fate in the hands of the fabled team that selected him No. 2 overall during the 2012 rookie draft, although he said he's more than willing to retire as an Aces player.

“Nasa kanila 'yun (management) kung ibibigay nila. Basta ako as a player lalaro ako hanggang sa makakaya natin,” said Abueva, who was dashing in his all-black suit during the 30th year anniversary celebration of the team on Thursday night at the Enderun College in McKinley Hill.

The affair gathered all former and current players and personnel of a successful franchise that has won a total of 14 championships including a grand slam in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.

Led by team owner Wilfred Uytengsu, the celebration honored the 30 Greatest Players to don the Alaska jersey the last three decades, Abueva included.

[See Alaska honors '30 greatest players' to celebrate 30th anniversary in PBA]

Although a bit surprised, the former San Sebastian stalwart Abueva said he’s mighty proud to be included in the list despite the relatively short time he has played for the multi-titled franchise.

Abueva admitted being caught unaware to be part of the honor roll led by the 1996 team that won a rare grand slam.

“Excited ako, nakakabigla rin,” the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart said. “Of course, I’m proud of myself being part of the Alaska company.”

The 27-year-old Abueva added he’ll forever be grateful to the team which gambled on a talented but enigmatic player from Angeles City despite criticism that his image doesn’t fit the persona Alaska has projected throughout these years.

Abueva silenced the critics by winning a championship for the team right in his rookie season and now stands as Alaska’s resident superstar.

“Sila (Alaska) yung nagbibigay sa akin ng motivation kung paano maglaro,” said ‘The Beast.’ “Very supportive sila sa akin kung nasaan man ako ngayon.”

Watch Calvin Abueva's interview:

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