Abueva inside bubble, but still in limbo

    ABUEVA: Dealing with mind games.

    CALVIN Abueva playing in Phoenix’s official games in the PBA bubble in Clark is not happening. Not yet.

    While admitting there is a chance Abueva can play, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said it will depend on whether the suspended forward can fulfill all the requirements set by the league.

    “May mga tinatapos pa siyang requirements. Hindi pa tapos ‘yung mga requirements niya,” said Marcial during a mid-afternoon press conference last Tuesday.

    “Tulad nga ng sinabi ko, ito ay para sa kabutihan ni Calvin, sa kabutihan ng PBA at saka sa kabutihan po ng lahat — ito ginagawa namin.”

    For the nth time, Marcial declined to divulge those requirements but the possibility of Abueva meeting them during the PBA bubble is there.

    “Tingnan na lang natin… kasi may tinatapos pa,” Marcial said. “Mahirap, ayokong mag-commit. P’wede (siyang makalaro), p’wedeng hindi. Tingnan muna natin kung pasasaan si Calvin.”

    Social media was awash since the other day with posts of #LetCalvinPlay and several reports even came out that Abueva’s reinstatement is forthcoming.

    Such speculations were further fanned when it turned out Abueva was allowed to enter the PBA bubble, arriving at the Quest Hotel Tuesday night with Phoenix interim coach Topex Robinson.

    Earlier in the day, Abueva and Robinson met with Marcial at the PBA office before proceeding to the GAB office in Makati to start the process of securing a new professional license. His former license was revoked after he was slapped an indefinite suspension in June last year.

    GAB chairman Baham Mitra was at the Senate budget hearing at the time but later issued a statement saying Abueva’s case would be tackled in the next meeting of the government regulatory body for pro sports.

    Mitra added that once given his GAB license, Abueva must still undergo a seminar on Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of a Professional Athlete, which could be held online.

    Abueva has been allowed to practice with Phoenix since September of last year and even took part in the compact workouts the Fuel Masters held when the teams were allowed to do so last Aug. 25.

    Since the former Rookie of the Year is already allowed to be with his mother team in Clark he could even take part in the full-contact scrimmages Phoenix has planned starting later this week.

    The keenly-awaited PBA blessing is still needed before Abueva can play with his team in the official games that start Oct. 11, however, and there’s still no guarantee of that being realized in the near future.

    “Kung galit man kayo sa akin, pasensiya na po,” reiterated Marcial. “Ito po ay (para) sa kabutihan ng lahat.”