MANILA, Philippines – Chot Reyes revealed Calvin Abueva is more than the tough guy image he has built throughout the years.
Reyes, following Gilas Pilipinas’ 89-84 win over Japan Sunday, February 25, shared that “The Beast” was reduced to tears after knowing that he would be part of the lineup for the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Abueva was initially dropped from the window after missing Gilas’ first 3 practices but made up for his absences by attending the team’s subsequent training sessions. Injuries to Troy Rosario and Mac Belo also paved the way for Abueva’s return to Gilas.
“When I told Calvin that he was going to Japan (Australia), he broke down in tears. Humagulgol talaga siya (He burst into tears) because he really wants to be part of this team,” said Reyes.
“Because throughout his personal problems, for him, this is his family. And we all treat him as our brother as well, so he played like he really wanted to be here.”
Indeed, Abueva showed he really belonged to the national team by putting up 8 points, 3 rebounds, two assists and a steal in only 10 minutes off the bench against the Japan.
The 30-year-old was also Gilas’ most efficient man with an efficiency rating plus-minus of +20.
“Calvin, not only giving us energy, he is our most efficient player. I think that’s the first time in history that Calvin led us in efficiency,” said Reyes, drawing laughter from mediamen.
Abueva, who faced personal problems last month that led to one-game absence for the Alaska Aces, confirmed that he was emotional after knowing the news of his reinstatement to Gilas.
“Masarap na makabalik ulit dito. Pagkabalik ko, binigay ko naman ang best ko,” said Abueva.
(It feels good to be back. When I returned, I gave it my best) – Rappler.com