'THE Beast' said he is a changed man, the reason Calvin Abueva looked as if he was back to his old self in Alaska's debut in the PBA Governors Cup.
The flamboyant former Rookie of the Year awardee bared how his growing family has inspired him to become a better father and a role model to his three sons - and a good provider to his family.
“Gusto ko rin kasing bigyan ng maganda buhay mga anak ko, saka gusto kong maging role model sa kanila. Puro mga lalaki pa naman sila,” said Abueva after scoring eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter of Alaska's 94-87 win over San Miguel Beer on Sunday night.
“Lumalaki na yung pamilya, apat na ang anak ko, puro pa lalaki,” added Abueva, rattlint off the names of Clint James, Calvin James, Leandre Alvin and a soon-to-be-born fourth child with wife Sam they plan to name LaMarcus. Sam is seven months pregnant.
“Pangarap ko din siyempre na maging player sila tulad ko, pwede naman. Kasi matatangkad rin 'yung mga bata.”
The Alaska forward has made the news for the wrong reasons in the past and has seen his game dip after an impressive rookie season. But he insisted he has changed for the better.
Though he said he is not truly fond of going out at night like some other celebrities, Abueva said he now makes it a point to spend more time at home.
“Hindi naman ako talaga ma-gimmick. Pero ngayon, mas mahaba na oras ko na makipag-bonding sa family ko. Natutuwa rin ako kasi full support sila sa akin,” the Angeles City native said.
“Naramdaman ko na kung mas magbigay ako ng time sa family ko, mas iba yung pagka-re-energize ko. Mas inspired ako at the same time, nakikita ko lumaki mga anak ko.”
Even Abueva’s adviser, lawyer Charlie Chua, told Spin.ph he has seen his ward transform from a happy-go-lucky guy to a doting family man.
“Oo, ang laki ng ipinagbago ni Calvin. Napansin ko 'yun simula nung nagpabinyag siya nung April. Talagang mas namamalagi na siya sa bahay ngayon,” said Chua, a trusted lieutenant of Abueva’s patron, Dennis Pineda.
“Natutuwa nga ako kasi mas seryoso na siya ngayon sa kanyang career. Sana magtuloy-tuloy na, para sa kanya rin naman yun,” added the Pampanga-based lawyer.
Even Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas likes what he sees in Abueva these days.
“Maganda nilaro ni Calvin. He played an important role in that win,” said Alas. “Alam mo naman ang value nung bata na yun. He’s our energy guy.”
The 26-year old former San Sebastian star, however, was quick to play down the Aces’ first win.
“Nagtulong-tulong lang naman kami. Saka nasa preparasyon lang namin lahat 'yun (panalo),” he said. “Saka nakaganda rin 'yung nakuha naming import (Henry Walker). Nagco-complement kasi kami ng laro. Sana tuloy-tuloy na.”
Asked if he has put the so-called sophomore jinx behind him, Abueva laughed and responded: “Saka na, pag siguro nasa semis na kami ulit at maganda pa rin laro ko, dun ko sasabihin sa yo 'yan.”