PHOENIX Super LPG coach Louie Alas has little doubt the ban on Calvin Abueva would be lifted soon by the PBA.
Alas also knows the usually mercurial forward would be a far tamer one in his return due, perhaps in a major part, to a stern warning unofficially given by top-ranking league official.
“Actually, nagbigay siya ng parameters na ganu’n,” Alas told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday while declining from naming the official since he heard the warning statement only from team manager Paolo Bugia.
“Sobrang stiff ‘yung magiging fines ni Calvin, just in case magkamali ulit. So if I were Calvin matatakot akong gawin dahil sobrang masakit sa bulsa. Hindi naman formally na ganu’n, pero sinabi niya kay manager Bugia,” added Alas.
“Parang binigyan niya lang ng sample, pero not in writing. Para siguro kapag may ipinataw kay Calvin, in case, hindi na siguro mabibigla.”
Alas also related the warning was issued long before Abueva still has to complete the psychological tests required of him for his indefinite suspension, slapped in early June of last year, to be lifted.
“Matagal na iyon, kalahati pa lang ng psych tests niya,” said Alas. “Basta ang sabi, in case makabalik, mabigat mga fines na puwede niyang makuha. Something like P50,000 yata isang technical (foul) pa lang.”
Now, Abueva has completed all that was required of him by the PBA, which included him undergoing drug tests and doing community service.
“Lahat ng ipinagawa nila, nagawa na ni Calvin,” Alas pointed out. “Meron pang hindi nila ipinapagawa, ginawa rin ni Calvin, tulad na lang ng mga outreach, tulong sa mga frontliners ngayong pandemic. Kusang-loob lang ‘yung tao.”
The only thing Abueva and Phoenix are waiting for is Commissioner Wlillie Marcial’s decision on whether to reinstate the forward or not.
To say Alas is very optimistic that Abueva would be with the rest of the Fuel Masters when the season resumes would be an understatement.
“Bakit nila ipapagawa lahat iyon kung wala talagang tsansang pabalikin, di ba?” Alas posed.
For good measure, Abueva was with the other Phoenix team members who underwent the mandatory pre-practice swab testing last Thursday and is included among the Fuel Masters who would be practicing in groups of four starting Wedneday.
Abueva himself said the six sessions he had with a psyhotherapist helped him learn how to keep his fiery emotions in check.
“Ang laki ng pagbabago sa mga nangyari sa akin sa past year na dumaan. Naging malinaw sa pag-iisip ko kung ano dapat ang temper, dapat attitude sa mga tao,” Abueva said in a recent stint on Sports Page over One PH and One Sports.
The former NCAA MVP also said he will play in the same spirited way he has been known for, but with less emotion this time.
“Ang pinag-aaralan ko yung emotion. Natural andiyan yan, kasabay sa laro, pero yung temper kailangan limitahan,” said Abueva.
Abueva should, according to Alas.
“Feeling ko naman he has learned his lesson dahil sobrang bigat ng nangyari sa kanya, sa pamilya niya, at sa team,” said the coach. “Malaki epekto talaga and I know ayaw na niyang maulit pa iyon.”