WITH no import to contend with, Calvin Abueva is wasting no time gearing up for the coming PBA Philippine Cup in a bid to rebound from a disappointing end to his rookie season.
The season’s Rookie of the Year bared taking a brief personal respite since Alaska got eliminated in the Governors Cup, before returning to practice as the Aces prepare for the 39th season of the league set to start a month from now.
Abueva stressed he’s trying to further improve his craft especially his perimeter shooting and rebounding.
“Alam mo naman sa All-Filipino, palakasan talaga dito. Siyempre, kami-kami lang ang magkakalaban, kaya todo bigay uli sa practice saka game,” said Abueva when Spin.ph visited the Aces during their afternoon practice Wednesday at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.
“Saka gusto ko pa mag-improve ang shooting ko saka timing ko sa pagkuha ng bola,” said the former NCAA MVP from San Sebastian.
Last season’s No. 2 overall pick added he’s also determined to make up for a so-so showing in the season-ending Governors' Cup, where he had to spend some time adjusting to playing the No.3 spot to accommodate import Wendell McKines at the power-forward position.
“Medyo bumaba din kasi `yung game ko nung third conference. Kaya kailangan ko magpa-kundisyon. Gusto ko pa mag-improve sa paglalaro ko,” he added.
The 25-year-old former Stags star ended his first season in the league with averages of 12.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 51 games.
The 6-foot-1 undersized power forward said taking on bruising big men in the league during his rookie year was no easy task.
That’s the reason why he’s happy and appreciated that he was recognized with the Rookie of the Year award, an achievement which he said acknowledged the effort he made in the league in his freshman season.
`The Beast’ received the coveted award last week amidst the jeers coming from Petron and San Mig fans just before the start of Game Four of the Finals between the Mixers and Boosters.
Abueva took everything in stride and instead, thanked the Alaska fans who cheered for him and the team during the season, especially when they won the Commissioner’s Cup title.
“Malaking pasasalamat ko nabigyan ako ng award na `yun. Bonus na `yun, saka lalo ko pang pagsisikapan ang paglalaro ko,” the Alaska stalwart said.