Suspended Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Calvin Abueva is now focusing on his stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
The 6’4 forward was suspended indefinitely by his mother team Alaska for being AWOL since the recent PBA All-Star break.
But Alaska allowed Abueva to join the national team, which is in deep preparation for the third window of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Qualifiers.
The Philippines battles Taiwan on June 29 and Australia on July 2.
“I have a responsibility here as a national player,” Abueva told a handful of reporters Monday night at the Meralco gym after Gilas’ practice. “I accepted the suspension and what happened. But it is a different story here in Gilas. I have to set aside my personal problems.”
“Good challenge here in Gilas and I will not waste the opportunity. This is the third window and we’re going to reach the second round so we should not waste time,” added Abueva.
Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said that there is no guarantee that Abueva will be included in the final line-up.
“We never took him (Abueva) out of the pool. He came in and explained. He was never been absent and he only missed one practice. Coach Alex Compton called me as well and explained the situation about his suspension but they are allowing him here,” said Reyes in separate interview.
“[But] it is not a guarantee and he must still earn his spot. He is part of the pool but he must earn his spot in the final 12 because there are different players here and he knows it. He is good that he’s here but no guarantee.”
Last February, Abueva and Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine were removed from the lineup for the second window of the Asian qualifiers for missing three practice sessions. Abueva redeemed himself through hard work.