Since they were still young bucks in the NCAA, Calvin Abueva and either of the Semerad twins would always figure in a crash.
Maybe it’s because of their style of play, which is very rugged. Or maybe it’s because of the rivalry between San Sebastian and San Beda.
But they even brought it to the big league.
For the last six years, a hanky-panky incident between Abueva and either Anthony or David Semerad was inevitable.
Just last year, the prelude to the infamous Abueva-Terrence Jones incident saw the Pampagueno handed a technical foul for second motion against Anthony Semerad.
But 16 months after that incident, Abueva and Semerad may have thrown their hatred for each other out of the window.
The 6-foot-3 Abueva and the 6-foot-4 Tony crashed and burned twice in Phoenix’s game against NLEX. And in both of those times, know jabs nor kicks were thrown. Instead, they helped each other get right back up.
“‘Yan ‘yung maganda sa player. Hindi mo iisipin na ganoon ‘yung binibigay nila. Ang lagi ko iniisip eh kung may masaktan sa’min, magtutulungan kami kasi hindi biro ‘tong bubble na ‘to at hindi rin biro ‘yung mga pinagdaanan namin. Almost ilang months din kami na walang ensayo, at dito lang namin na-prepare ‘yung sarili namin,” said the 32-year-old Abueva, who had to attend anger management classes during the 16 months he was suspended.
“Hindi lahat ng bagay dito madali. Lahat pinaghihirapan at lahat mental. Kapag ‘di ka marunong mag-isip dito, wala, wala kang pupuntahan.”
The calm Abueva ended up lifting Phoenix to a 114-110 win over NLEX.
During his banishment from the big league, Abueva had a long time to rethink his style, which has been misconstrued as violent.
Bad habits are hard to break, though. But Abueva brought with him a reminder to not go back to his old self.
“Challenge ‘yan sa’kin. Expected ko na ‘yan. Pero may reminders lagi ako na nasa taas na, ‘Keep focused, keep your game good.’ Lagi kong iniisip na hindi gulo, hindi anger ang iniisip ko. Iniisip ko lagi rito kung papaano kami mananalo this game.”