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    Distrito appeals for lifting of Abueva ban: 'Di s'ya masamang tao'

    Jun 1, 2020

    FORMER PBA enforcer Rudy Distrito said it's high time the pro league lifts the indefinite ban on Calvin Abueva.

    “Dapat pabayaan na nilang maglaro ulit si Calvin. Nakikita naman sa sentimyento ng fans sa social media, lahat sila gusto na makita ulit maglaro yung tao,” said Distrito in an interview with online sports program Go for Gold InterActive on Facebook.

    "Kung tutuusin, wala namang ginawa si Calvin na hindi ginagawa ng ibang players sa PBA,” he added. “Yung ginawa n'ya sa import kaya siya na-ban, hindi ba ginagawa ng ibang player yun? Minsan part ng basketball yung ganun.”

    The 62-year old Bacolod native was one of the most notorious bad boys of his time and was himself meted a lifetime ban for his dangerous tackle on a driving Jeffrey Cariaso in 1995. The PBA later reduced the ban on appeal.

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    Distrito said Abueva is nowhere like he was during his time, saying 'The Beast' is pesky and irascible on the court but is not one to inflict harm on other players.

    “Si Calvin, mabait na bata 'yan. Nakikita nyo naman, makulit lang talaga siya maglaro, style nya yun e. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, iba yung makulit lang at mapang-asar sa masamang tao,” the former Ginebra guard said.

    “Yung naging parusa ni Calvin (indefinite suspension), para sa masamang tao yun. Ni hindi mo nga madidinig yun na magsalita ng masama sa mga kapwa n'ya player lalo na sa PBA,” added the 15-year PBA veteran.

    While the ban isn't lifted, Distrito hopes the PBA looks after the welfare of Abueva’s family especially his kids.

    “May pamilya rin 'yan na dapa pakainin at mga kamag-anak na dapat suportahan. Nakakaawa rin kasi yung mga taong umaasa lang sa kanya,” said Distrito.

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    At the same time, the hero of Ginebra’s 1991 First Conference historic comeback against the Shell Rimula X is hoping to one day sit down with Abueva and give him a piece of his mind.

    Distrito giving Abueva advice is like him talking to his younger self.

    “Gusto ko minsan makasama si Calvin, gusto ko siya payuhan. Kasi nakikita ko yung bata pag hindi nagabayan pwedeng matulad sa sinapit ko. Yun ang ayaw ko,” he said. “Nami-misunderstand siya ng ibang teams kasi sobrang galing nya pero may mga extra curricular.

    "Tingin ko makikinig yun. Kaya gusto ko rin makausap siya at mapayuhan,” added Distrito.

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      Now working as the MPBL’s head of security, Distrito bared that apart from maintaining the peace and order in all venues of the league, he is also happy giving advice to players.

      “Madalas, pag may player ako na nakikitang nagiging pasaway, kinakausap ko ng heart to heart. Ang lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila: ‘Wag nyo uunahin init ng ulo nyo lalo na pag nasa laro kayo. Gusto nyo bang matulad sa sinapit ko?’ Natutuwa naman ako kasi na-absorb nila,” said Distrito.

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      “Masaya ako sa bagong role ko, siguro yun ang calling ko at yun din reason kaya ako tinawag ni Senator Manny Pacquiao dito,” he added.

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        Distrito said his biggest regret was not being able to give his career a proper closure.

        “Nagsisisi talaga ako dun. Grabe pagsisisi ko. Kasi unang una hindi ko naisara ng maayos ang career ko sa PBA. Ang ganda na sana,” he said. “Minsan nga kahit sa mga anak ko hindi ko maipagmalaki mga achievements ko (as a player), kasi dadating at dadating ang kwentuhan sa dulo, yung bakit nawala ako."

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        “Basta payo ko sa mga batang players tulad ni Abueva mahalin nyo trabaho nyo. Hindi lahat nakakarating sa estado kung nasan kayo. At sana itong istorya ko ma-inspire kayo.”

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