Abueva grateful to Phoenix despite sudden trade

Published February 17, 2021, 10:25 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA Images

Calvin Abueva admitted that he himself was surprised with the trade that sent him from Phoenix Super LPG to Magnolia.

PBA followers were left stunned Wednesday morning when the Fuel Masters dealt Abueva to the Hotshots in exchange for guard Chris Banchero and sixth and 18th overall picks in the March 14 draft.

“Pag-gising ko hindi ko alam kung binabangungot ako o hindi,” Abueva said in Wednesday night’s 2OT program.

Many wondered as to why Phoenix decided to pull the trigger after Abueva returned from a 16-month suspension in a big way by almost carrying the Fuel Masters to their first-ever Finals appearance during the PBA Philippine Cup bubble.

He is grateful with his 2 1/2-year stint with Phoenix that unfortunately was marred by the aforementioned indefinite suspension handed by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in June 2019 for several misconducts.

But that stretch also saw Phoenix reach the semifinals on two occasions, namely the 2019 Philippine Cup and last season’s only conference inside the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Center in Pampanga.

“Ako wala akong sama ng loob sa Phoenix. Wala akong nicheche-bureche,” said Abueva. “Pero ang akin nandyan sila, gumabay sila sa akin simula nang na-suspend ako at di nila ako pinabayaan lalo na yung management.

“Ngayon nabigla lang ako na biglang nasaan ka na? San ka napunta? Diba? Parang gumive-up na lang kaagad na bigla ka na lang bibitawan. Pero ako hindi ko ineexpect na dadating at dadating sa sitwasyon na matetrade ka talaga.

While expressing sadness over the end of his Fuel Masters stint, Abueva is also enthusiastic with the opportunity to play for a perennial contender in the Hotshots, who already have plenty of talent available in Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Jackson Corpuz.

“Siyempre sa akin masakit para iwanan itong Phoenix,” he said, “pero ang kinaganda naman kasi dito napunta ako sa magandang pwesto. Yun naman yung mismong ikinatuwa ko.”