INQUIRER.NET

Abueva gives it all for Gilas

CALVIN Abueva listens intently as Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Jong Uichico explains a play during practice. TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.NET

Despite a series of heartbreaks in the PBA, Calvin Abueva doesn’t need anyone to light a fire under him.

There’s no need to remind Abueva of his recent setbacks to motivate him to work harder as he dons the Gilas Pilipinas jersey for the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.

“Lagi nilang binabanggit yung past, pero ibang league itong papasukan natin eh,” he said on Thursday after the national team’s early morning practice at Meralco Gym. “Big league ito. Talagang magpo-focus ka at ibibigay ang lahat para sa laban na ito.”

Named as the Best Player of the Conference in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Abueva led Alaska to its fourth Finals appearance in five conferences.

Unfortunately, the Aces came up on the losing end in all of those trips.

Abueva hasn’t had a break since the 2014-2015 PBA Season kicked off, but the energetic forward remains steadfast in his goal to deliver for flag and country.

“Talagang walang pahinga. Pero kailangang todo sipag, todo laro sa practice,” he said, sharing that he has hardly had any vacation since last year. “Ngayon, tuloy-tuloy pa rin. Wala talagang rest, pero pursigido pa rin tayo na maglaro sa qualifiers para sa bayan.”

And as he makes his second tour of duty for Gilas, Abueva is motivated to exceed expectations and help the squad reach the great Olympic dream.

“Kailangan talaga ng hardwork. Di mo pwedeng pabayaan ito kasi once na pabayaan mo, mawawala ka sa play at mawawala ka sa focus sa game,” he said.

Outbrain