ANTIPOLO, Philippines – More than anything else, Calvin Abueva’s birthday wish is to be whole again.
Haunted by family-related issues for the past 3 weeks, Abueva looked like a rejuvenated man since his one-game absence as he celebrated his birthday by helping Alaska outlast the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 105-98, for the Aces’ 6th straight win.
Abueva, who turned 30 years old on Sunday, February 4, put up a double-double outing of 12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks to help keep the Aces undefeated this 2018.
Despite saying that a part of his wish list is for the Aces to win the Philippine Cup championship this season, the Angeles City native has a much more personal desire for himself.
“Birthday wish ko, maging buo akong tao. Maipakita ko na nakatayo ako sa sarili kong paa, walang iniisip, walang kung anu ano man,” said Abueva.
(My birthday wish is to be a whole person. I want to show that I can stand up in my own feet. I want to show that I am not thinking of anything else.)
Prior to the win against Globalport, Abueva hinted on missing his children. He also mentioned that he sees 2018 as the “best part of my life even if it does not include my love life.”
Before that, Abueva missed several Alaska practices and 3 consecutive Gilas Pilipinas training sessions that led to his exclusion for the second window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers. He was also absent in Alaska’ 88-84 victory over the Blackwater Elite last January 27 to attend to what was called by the team management as "a family-related emergency."
Abueva returned to the hardcourt to steer the Aces to a 93-75 win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters last January 31, changing his jersey number from 8 to 88 which he said symbolized his transformation to “The Beast 2.0.”
With the Aces having a one-week break before taking on the NLEX Road Warriors on February 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Abueva hoped to spend time with his kids as soon as possible.
“Ang importante makasama ko ‘yung mga anak ko, kahit dito man lang sa birthday ko. Pero baka sometime next week.”
(What is important is I can be with my children, at least on my birthday. If not, maybe sometime next week.) – 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.