Phoenix Pulse’s playoff aspirations in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup have become bleaker after absorbing a tough 81-97 defeat at the hands of a retooled Magnolia, Wednesday evening.
That dealt the Fuel Masters their seventh loss in nine games. They are now level in 10th place in the team standings with another struggling ball club, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
This season-ending tilt has clearly been disastrous for Phoenix Pulse. One likely reason behind it is the absence of forward Calvin Abueva, who has been suspended indefinitely.
Abueva received the suspension following his obscene gestures to Ray Parks’ girlfriend and his hit on TNT import Terrence Jones. The cager nicknamed the Beast has been out for five months now.
“Talagang struggling kami. We’re not saying that because Calvin is not here, pero malaking bagay din ‘yun,” said coach Louie Alas moments after the match at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
There is no update yet from the league when will Abueva play again. But he has shown that he feels determined to return, since he has been active with league-related activities and community service.
The 31-year-old also issued a public apology through social media platform Instagram last October 19.
So now, Alas hopes that they will have the Kapampangan star by next season, as they aim to do better.
“We’re expecting him to come back next year kasi wino-workout niya lahat ng community service niya. Lahat ng gusto ipagawa ni commissioner (Willie Marcial), ginagawa naman ni Calvin,” said the veteran bench strategist, who’s known Abueva for years.
“Hopefully, makita naman nila ‘yun.”