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    'Idol' Calvin Abueva willing to take 6-foot-7 Pampanga teenager under his wings

    Dec 29, 2014

    ALASKA star Calvin Abueva is glad to know that a 6-foot-7 Pampanga teenager wants to be like 'The Beast,' so much so that he expressed his willingness to take him under his wings.

    “Ang laki, meron pa lang ganun kalaki sa amin," said Abueva when he came across the Spin.ph story about Jeremaiah Joshua Jay Pangalanan, the 15-year-old who dreams of basketball stardom.

    Abueva and Pangalanan have a couple of things in common. They both hail from Angeles City and belong to the same stable of basketball players run by Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda.

    The Alaska banger said Pangalanan is in good hands.

    "Natutuwa ako kasi nasa tamang training siya. Alam ko yun kasi dun din ako galing eh,” said Abueva, who expressed willingness to help train the prodigious teenager.

    “Kung gusto niya, pwede ko siyang i-train at bigyan ng mga tip. Pwede ko siyang i-one-on-one. Natutuwa naman ako kasi ako pa pala paborito niya,” he said.

    “Kung ipapatawag ako ni Vice (Gov Dennis Pineda), pwede kong hasain yang bata sa offseason. Bata pa 'yan, mabilis matututo yan,” Abueva added.

    Pangalangan was understandably thrilled when told about Abueva's offer.

    “Idol ko po si Calvin. Gustong gusto ko po yung aggressiveness niya. Siya nga po ginagaya ko,” said Pangalangan. “Marami nga po nagsasabi na dapat daw sa height ko center ang i-practice ko. Pero mas sanay po ako na forward kasi may dribble at shooting po ako.”

    [See Giant find from Pampanga: Pangalanan, 15 and already 6-7, dreams of basketball stardom]

    Continue reading below ↓

    Abueva sees a bright future for the kid who is projected to grow as tall as seven feet, especially if trained to be a forward.

    “Mas okay kung forward ang gusto niya. Kasi malaki siya, tapos may galaw. Balita ko nga may spin move 'yan. Maganda 'yun. Keysa sa big man routine siya magsanay. Bata pa siya madami pa siyang pwedeng i-develop,” said Abueva.

    “Kung mapapagamit natin kay Jay yung liksi niya saka dribble tapos malaki siya, mas maganda kasi mas okay na forward siya tapos malaki. Kung i-se-sentro siya madali na lang adjustment. Mas madali mag-adjust ang center to forward kaysa forward to center,” said the PBA Rookie of the Year in 2013.

    Jay Pangalanan towers over his coach, Eric Bangal, and teammates. Snow Badua

    Pangalangan’s coach at San Fernando City, Eric Bangal, said he is impressed with the kid's skill set and basketball IQ.

    “Mahusay yang bata na 'yan. May galaw saka mautak. Importante sa kanya, kayang magdala ng bola, kaya hindi siya hirap umatake,” said the San Fernando LGU coach.

    “Two years ko na siyang hinahawakan. Mabilis ang development ng bata sa age niya. Magaling na siya sa pivot move saka sa ilalim. May shooting tsaka mataas ang percentage niya sa freethrow,” he added.

    Bangal recalled that during the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) basketball meet, Pangalangan averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks per game.

    “Ginamit ko ngang forward 'yan eh. Nakaya niya very aggressive siya. May back to the basket at fronting the basket yan. Tume-tres pa 'yan. Gusto pa ngang mag-point guard, pinigilan ko lang kasi masyado siyang malaki,” said Bangal.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “Mataas average niyan sa perimeter, nasa 50 to 60 percent. Hindi mabagal 'yan. Ang problema lang, late development lang talaga siya. Late bloomer. Pero mate-train ni Delta (Pineda) yan. Mabilis naman siya pumick-up.”

    For short video of Pangalanan, see:

    Abueva’s former teammate and now Purefoods Star Hotshots forward Ian Sangalang saw no problem with Pangalanan picking up the game late, saying he, too, started playing basketball at a late age.

    “Kahit late bloomer siya, mahahasa iyan. Kasi iba ang training nila Vice Gov. Ako nga nagsimula ako 14 years old, wala akong kaalam-alam sa basketball,” said Sangalang, who is now recovering from an ACL injury.

    “Talagang dinaan ako sa basic hanggang sa advanced training ni Vice Gov. Tapos bata pa lang kami nila Calvin, dinadala na niya kami sa iba’t ibang lugar para ilaban sa mga mas malalaki at mas matanda sa amin,” he said.

    “Para kaming mga warrior. Nilalaban niya lagi. Dun ko nakuha kumpiyansa ko. Kaya sana mapakinabangan ni Pangalangan 'yun,” he added.

    And what is his advice for Pangalangan?

    “Focus lang siya. Wag muna niya dadalin sa ulo niya yung popularity niya ngayon. Kasi nakita ko sa story ninyo, ang daming nagulat at nag-aabang sa kanya. Basta unahin niya develop sarili niya at sana lagi siya maging humble,” said Sangalang.

    “Kung susunod siya sa mga nagtuturo sa kanya, malayo mararating niya. Nasa tamang training group siya. Dyan kami galing nila Calvin, Arwind (Santos), Ronald Pascual at iba pa,” he added.

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