ANGELES CITY–Phoenix interim head coach Topex Robinson considers the decision of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to reinstate the license of Calvin Abueva as a victory for the team.
“It’s a big step for us, a big win for us,” Robinson told the Manila Bulletin after the Fuel Masters escaped NorthPort, 110-105, on Thursday for a second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“First win for us (was) when the PBA allowed him to be here in the bubble. This is another win for us that GAB already reinstated his license. It’s just a matter of time I think and we just have to trust the PBA that they’re gonna do the right decision.”
Abueva has been given a probationary status for six months after completing GAB’s requirements. The 32-year-old banger attended the third and last webinar on the “Professional Athlete’s Code of Conduct and Ethics” together with Robinson and team manager Paolo Bugia on Wednesday night.
It is now up to the PBA to lift the indefinite suspension imposed on Abueva one year and four months ago after a clothesline hit on TNT import Terrence Jones along with a verbal altercation and obscene gestures to Ray Parks’ girlfriend Maika Rivera.
“We trust him (PBA commissioner Willie Marcial). He’s in a better position than us. So, we’re just gonna respect the position. We know that commissioner wants the best for the league. So, I know he’s gonna make the right decision.”
Lifted or not, the 45-year-old mentor said they’re just glad to have the energetic Abueva in the bubble.
“When we went to the bubble, ang reminder n’ya (Marcial) lang samin is Calvin is just allowed to be in the bubble. So we’re happy with that,” said Robinson.
“Sobrang laking bagay na sa’min ‘yun. Siguro kung dumating man yung time na ‘yun, we’ll be glad. If not, we’ll still be glad for him because ang laking bagay kay Calvin na nandito sya. That’s what’s important sa amin.”
Phoenix is sharing the lead with TNT with two wins apiece. Abueva was still a no-show from those games, not even in street clothes in the arena as an observer, but he joins practices since he arrived last week.