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Though hurt by Phoenix exit, Abueva sees silver lining in trade to Magnolia

Calvin Abueva admitted he finds it hard parting ways with Phoenix, the team that stood by him during arguably the most challenging time of his colorful PBA career.

The do-it-all forward said he is still stunned by the news of his trade to Magnolia as Phoenix dealt him and a draft pick in exchange for Chris Banchero and two draft picks.

"I was surprised that I got traded," Abueva told 2OT in Filipino on Wednesday, February 17.

"We cannot do anything about it. Even if you do not want to leave, you cannot do anything about it."

It was during his time with Phoenix when Abueva got slapped an indefinite suspension by the PBA that lasted for 16 months.

Phoenix – most notably its head coach Topex Robinson – rallied behind Abueva, who eventually had his ban lifted in the middle of the previous Philippine Cup held in a bubble.

Abueva created a solid bond with his Phoenix teammates inside the bubble – their chemistry in full display as the team almost reached the PBA finals for the first time in franchise history.

"I do not hold any grudge against Phoenix," Abueva said. "They were there for me and they guided me when I got suspended. They did not abandon me, especially the management, they were there to help me."

"I'm just shocked because it is like, 'Where are you now? Where did you go?' They just gave up and let go of you. But I know that there will be a situation that you will get traded."

A silver lining for Abueva, though, is the chance to join a Magnolia franchise that has a rich history of winning PBA championships. (READ: Reunited: Sangalang says Abueva 'type of player' Magnolia needs)

Magnolia tied Alaska for second-most PBA championships of all-time with 14 after capturing the 2018 Governors' Cup crown.

The 33-year-old won a title during his first season in the PBA with Alaska but he has since fell short of the grand prize.

"It hurts that I have to leave Phoenix. But the good thing is I've been put in a good situation," Abueva said.

"I really want to win a championship again." – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

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.

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