MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has finally lifted the ban meted on Calvin Abueva.
On Sunday, the league pulled the plug on the harsh sanction slapped on the Phoenix swingman, which lasted for 15 months.
This came after a meeting among Abueva, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and deputy Eric Castro, Fuel Masters head coach Topex Robinson, and team manager Paolo Bugia.
One of the resolutions in the said meeting is for Abueva to attend a counseling program.
Marcial also warned him of future fines and suspensions if he does another “on and off-court misdemeanor.”
“The league commissioner said he hopes Abueva had learned a lesson from the suspension and encouraged him to continuously persevere, change for the better and be the ‘Beast’ who champions good manners and right conduct for himself, his family, his PBA family and the viewing public who look up to him as their hero and example,” PBA said in a statement.
Abueva will be activated for Phoenix’s Monday night game against NLEX at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
‘He wants to play’
Robinson turned emotional on Friday night when the Abueva situation was raised after the Fuel Masters’ win against the Magnolia Hotshots.
“It’s really hard because he wants to play and he wants to contribute, but the best thing he could do is cheer for us,” Robinson said.
Rumors surfaced that Abueva would play last week, but he was not activated in either of Phoenix’s games against TNT, Ginebra, and Magnolia.
The Fuel Masters lost to the Tropang Giga on Monday night and the Barangay two nights later as Abueva’s absence was felt in those games.
Despite sliding after a promising 2-0 start, Phoenix did not waver.
“[Calvin] is one of the big reasons for us to really not give up,” Robinson further quipped. “He doesn’t want to give up, so we always do it for Calvin.”
The resilience finally bore fruit after the team came back from 17 points down and shut Magnolia down in the fourth quarter for the win.
“Winning it for Calvin is really big for us,” Robinson further said. (PNA)