Every time Raymond Almazan and Calvin Abueva are on the court during Gilas Pilipinas’ practices, there will always be a prank that is waiting to happen. It will either be Abueva pulling a trick on Almazan or the other way around as they try to one up each other in mischief. And it never fails to draw laughs from their teammates.
But during the first four days of Gilas’ prep for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, Abueva’s absence was noticeable.
“Oo, bwisit yun e. Siya yung kakulitan ko dito sa practice, message at text. Minsan nagkakayayaan pa mag-chill,” shared Almazan.
“Kaya nung wala siya, tinatanong ko kung ano problema.”
Once Abueva returned to practice Monday night, there was a sense of relief that could be felt in the entire Meralco Gym. Though the Gilas’ energy guy did not want to share what had happened over the past week, it did not matter as the most important thing was that he was ready to settle some unfinished business.
“Kalimutan na lang natin yun. Ang importante ay nandito siya,” furthered Almazan, who was celebrating the eve of his 28th birthday Wednesday night.
And as the entire team sang the birthday song to both Almazan and Jiovani Jalalon, Abueva made sure to pull off one last prank before the night ended. As the 6-foot-8 big man blew the candle on his cake, the native of Angeles City, Pampanga got a couple of bottles of cold water and showered an unsuspecting Almazan with it.
“Sana di magsawa sa akin si coach Chot [Reyes] kahit sobrang kulit ko,” he shared when asked about what his birthday wish was.
For sure, the entire team will never get tired of the duo of Almazan and Abueva.
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