MANILA, Philippines – Changing his jersey number signals a fresh start for Calvin Abueva.
Sporting the No. 8 in his first 5 seasons in the PBA, Abueva, who shared that he went through sadness for the past 3 weeks involving a family-related issue, altered his jersey number to 88 as he entered his transformation to “The Beast 2.0.”
“‘Yung nangyari sakin past 3 weeks, naano ako, sobrang lungkot ko, ‘yung nangyari sa family ko, nangyari sakin. Kaya ngayon, pinalitan ko ‘yung number ko ng 88 kaya The Beast 2.0. Pinakita ko, pinanindigan ko sa sarili ko na kaya ko ‘to lusutan,” said the 29-year-old.
(For the past 3 weeks, I was in deep melancholy because of what happened to my family, what happened to me. That is why I changed my number to 88 for the Beast 2.0. I showed that I can get through this myself.)
It has been a rough month for Abueva as he was dropped from the Gilas Pilipinas pool that will compete in the second window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers in February after missing the first 3 practices.
Although he attended the latest Gilas practice last January 29, head coach Chot Reyes said that Abueva will only be allowed to be placed back in the pool for the next window.
The Angeles City native was also absent in Alaska’s 88-84 win over the Blackwater Elite last January 27 as he had to attend to an emergency, leaving the Araneta Coliseum before tipoff after talking to Aces head coach Alex Compton.
In his return to the hardcourt, Abueva did not disappoint as he scattered for 21 points, 15 rebounds and 4 steals in 25 minutes of action to power the Aces to their 5th straight win with a 93-75 romp of the Phoenix Fuel Masters Wednesday, January 31.
“Nakuha ko ‘yung motivation ko sa kung ano ‘yung mga pinaghirapan ko itong last 3 weeks kaya ito, nabuhay ako sa sarili ko na maging masaya.”
(I got my motivation from all my hardships in the last 3 weeks. I am living my life to be happy.)
Despite feeling satisfaction in his comeback, the former Rookie of the Year admitted there is still something missing in his life.
“Ang ganda ng number ko ngayon at pinakita ko, sana magtuloy tuloy. ‘Yun, namimiss ko ‘yung mga anak ko, ‘yun lang.”
(I have a great number and I had a great comeback, I hope it continues. But I miss my children.)
As he turns 30 on February 4, a part of Abueva’s wish list is for the Aces to end a 4-year championship drought.
“Actually, sana maging tuloy tuloy itong nilalaro kong 'to at makapasok kami sa Finals, makuha na namin ‘tong championship na ‘to.”
(Actually, I hope I continue to play like this and we play in the finals and win this championship.)
“Kaya kinuha ko ‘yung 88 para 2018, the best part of my life, kahit hindi na sa love life,” said Abueva while chuckling.
(That is why I chose 88 for 2018, the best part of my life, even if it does not include my love life.)
Abueva and Co. will try to maintain their winning ways as they face the Globalport Batang Pier on February 4 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.