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Calvin Abueva pressured, but ready to give it all for Gilas in Asian Games


Calvin Abueva of Gilas Pilipinas during training. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Putting on a Gilas Pilipinas jersey for the first time in four years doesn’t come without pressure for Calvin Abueva.

During Gilas Pilipinas’ open practice at the Philsports Arena on Thursday, Abueva revealed that he feels pressure to return to the national team, especially now that he is not getting any younger.

“There is pressure for me, of course, because I am back at 35 but I will do my best,” Abueva said in Filipino. Everything I can bring, from the heart, everything, I will give inside (the court).

Abueva’s runs with Gilas Pilipinas have been mixed.

Most recently, the forward helped the Philippines in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers with standards of 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and one assist per game.

He was, however, involved in the infamous Australia-Gilas brawl during the 2018 edition of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during the team's opening practice with the Gilas women's team on Thursday at the Philsports Arena.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during the team’s opening practice with the Gilas women’s team on Thursday at the Philsports Arena. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

But all that is now a thing of the past for the Hotshots’ main attraction, who is looking to give it his all once again for Gilas under coach Tim Cone at the 2022 Asian Games. Hangzhou, China.

Abueva will even be competing with an undisclosed injury that he chose not to treat.

“It’s just a small injury, don’t worry, it’s far from the stomach,” Abueva joked.

“Little injuries are nothing. Here you need a big heart. After all, it’s not your team, it’s the whole country’s team, so whatever you can give, you give,” he added.

Cone, who takes over on an interim basis following the “departure of Chot Reyes,” is also excited to have an energizer like Abueva in the lineup.

“You have guys like Calvin, Terrence (Romeo) and Mo (Tautuaa) who are excited to be part of the national team, so they will bring that energy and that desire to go out and play and you know Calvin,” said the coach, highlighting the former best player in the PBA conference.

“Calvin will bring everything. He won’t leave anything in the locker room.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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