Despite being dropped from the pool along with Raymond Almazan a week ago by no less than Gilas coach Chot Reyes, Calvin Abueva surprised everyone by showing up at the Monday evening practice of the country’s national basketball team.
Prior to tonight’s practice, the 29-year old native of Angeles City missed the last three sessions which forced the hand of Reyes to remove his name from the pool of the team which will compete in the 2nd window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifers scheduled on February 22 in Australia and February 25 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Aside from Abueva, other members of the pool who were in attendance were Kiefer Ravena, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Carl Cruz, Jayson Castro, Kevin Alas, Mac Belo, Jio Jalalon, Gabe Norwood, and Roger Pogoy.
Japeth Aguilar and June Mar Fajardo were also present but didn’t participate in the drills.
Representing the “23 for 2023” pool were Abu Tratter, CJ Perez, Arvin Tolentino, Will Gozum, Paul Desiderio, Kenneth Tuffin, Jeo Ambohot, Juan Gomez de Liano, J-jay Alejandro, Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, Joshua Sinclair and Kai Sotto.
Abueva called up Reyes Monday morning and asked if he could still practice with the team.
Reyes responded positively, saying that he is always welcome, even if he is no longer part of the pool.
“He’s welcome because he’s still part of the team. It’s just that he’s not gonna be part of the pool because like I said, it’s unfair to the guys who are always been here and never missed practices. And naintindihan naman niya,” said Reyes.
The long-time Gilas mentor also advised Abueva to devote more time in dealing with his family issues.
“Sabi ko it’s also best to focus on that first kasi kung maglalaro siya rito he’ll not be 100 percent focus din naman, so sabi ko to take care of those things first,” Reyes added.