WILFRED Uytengsu has always taken pride in running an Alaska that does things the right way.
And while Calvin Abueva at times looks like an odd fit in the organization, the Alaska team owner can only praise the way 'The Beast' handled himself after getting cut from the Gilas Pilipinas team to the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
"I’m just very proud of how Calvin handled himself and continued to show his support for Gilas after he was cut and up through the games," said Uytengsu.
Uytengsu said he was also heartened by the support fans have supported the Alaska player through the ordeal, saying, “It’s a real compliment for Calvin and shows that he is appreciated."
"Hoping that carries over to the next conference,” Uytengsu added.
The outspoken owner said he was overseas during the OQT games and was therefore not in a position to comment on Gilas' performance, or of the decisions coach Tab Baldwin made in the selection and during the games.
“I was abroad and missed the games so I can’t say,” he said. “We need to trust that Coach Tab made the right calls in forming the team.”
Uytengsu also left the door open to lending Abueva to future Gilas campaigns, but reiterated his stand that Gilas needs a sustainable long-term program in the wake of Fiba's decision to shift to a home-and-away format for the 2019 World Cup.
Uytengsu had earlier supported the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) move to form a Gilas cadet pool for future competitions, but suggested that amateurs drafted into the pool be allowed to enter the PBA Rookie Draft.
“If asked (to lend Abueva) we would consider," Uytengsu said, "but I’ve already made my suggestion on how SBP should handle Gilas going forward."
“We can’t keep disrupting the PBA to accommodate a very uncertain Fiba schedule. It’s not fair to the fans or the players. We need a viable, long-term solution and that’s what we put forward,” said Uytengsu.