Calvin was an emotional mess before the Australia game
Paul Lintag on Feb 26, 2018 09:19 AM
"When I told Calvin that he was going to Australia, he broke down in tears. Humagulgol talaga siya because he really wants to be part of this team." --- Chot Reyes on Calvin Abueva.
MANILA, Philippines --- This story from Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes should make you love Calvin Abueva more than you already do.
Abueva's journey with the national team for the second window of the World Cup Asian Qualifiers has been an interesting one.
He was cut for missing three straight practices however, the Beast worked his way back and he did ended up playing for Gilas against Austrlia and Japan.
The moment Abueva found out he was joining the team in Australia, the Beast became an emotional mess.
"When I told Calvin that he was going to Australia, he broke down in tears," Reyes said.
"Humagulgol talaga siya because he really wants to be part of this team. Because throughout his personal problems, for him, this is his family. And we al treat him as our brother as well, so he played like he really wanted to be here," Reyes added.
True enough, Abueva was his usual energizer against the Boomers, despite the Philippines taking a loss.
However, against Japan, Abueva shined in his true role with Gilas, serving as one of the team's main spark off the bench.
In just a little over 10 minutes of action, the Beast gave Gilas eight points and an endless supply of angst.
Amazingly enough, he was also the most efficient player for Gilas against the Japanese, posting a plus-minus of 20.
"Calvin, not only giving us energy, he is our most efficient player. I think that's the first time in history that Calvin led us in efficiency," Reyes said.
Ultimately, it was injuries to other players that allowed Abueva to play in the second window of the Asian Qualifiers.
But even if those unfortunate things never happened, Calvin was always going to be there for the national team anyway.
"Even after he found out that he was dropped, he still came to practice. He understood the situation, he never missed practice. He was playing on our scouting team on every practice," Reyes said of Calvin.
"And then Troy went down with an injury. Mac Belo went down with an injury. Then we made a decision on Jayson to keep him off. There’s a lot to be said about presence and he was present in every practice so he got the call up," he added.
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