Eight months have gone by, but Calvin Abueva’s reinstatement in the PBA has yet to see the light of day.
The Phoenix Pulse star remains suspended in the upcoming 2020 Philippine Cup, though league commissioner Willie Marcial said that he remains in talks with Abueva.
“Nag-uusap kami. May pinag-uusapan kami,” Marcial said during the league’s press conference for its 45th season, Tuesday at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay.
“Mayroon pa akong pinapagawa.”
Once Abueva fulfills what the commissioner has asked, Marcial said that he will then bring it up to the board of governors.
“‘Pag naayos na lahat ‘yun at okay na, i-elevate ko sa board ‘yung recommendation ko.”
Abueva, who turned 32 just last February 4, was suspended indefinitely by the league last June due to two separate incidents in the early goings of the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.
Abueva, though, has been practicing with the Fuel Masters since September, having asked Marcial just so he could stay in shape. Then last October 19, he issued an apology via Instagram.
Abueva has continued to be with his team while serving his suspension, but he hasn’t played in tune-ups versus PBA squads for the new season, including the Phoenix Super Basketball Tourney.
Phoenix Pulse head coach Louie Alas previously said in an interview that they wanted Abueva with them in the said pre-season tilt that featured four teams, but saw their request denied.
“Dito nga ine-expect namin na papayagan siya, kaso na-turn down kami,” he said. “Hangga’t ‘di raw siya nare-reinstate, ‘wag daw muna palalaruin. Medyo na-frustrate nga eh (Abueva).”
Fuel Masters governor Raymond Zorilla is, of course, hoping for Abueva’s immediate return, with his team hampered by injuries — especially on its frontline.
Newly-acquired forward Jake Pascual is possibly out for the year no thanks to an ACL tear. Meanwhile, wide-bodied bruiser Dave Marcelo is recovering from bone spurs and is sidelined until mid-season.
“We are undermanned. We have guys in the injured list and an additional Calvin Abueva would be a very, very big help for us. We are very positive. We are hoping for his immediate return,” he said.
But more than anything, Zorilla said that the cager from Pampanga has learned his lesson well already.
“I have several instances when I talk with Calvin. I think sincerity-wise, good faith-wise, he has shown that he has learned his lesson,” shared the amiable executive.
“He has been suspended since June. It is a drain on his salary and finances. I don’t think he will again put his family at risk.”
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