By Jonas Terrado
The disappearance of Calvin Abueva from the Alaska Aces since the end of the PBA All-Star Week has left many wondering what’s wrong with one of the league’s most popular players.
Abueva was nowhere in sight when the Aces played the GlobalPort Batang Pier over the weekend while missing multiple practices since his last public appearance at the final leg of the All-Star Week in Iloilo City last May 27.
“Where the hell is Calvin Abueva?” asked Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes, who also didn’t see Abueva when the national team began its preparation for the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers earlier this week.
Alaska coach Alex Compton said Abueva has been sorting out some personal issues but didn’t provide further details.
The same predicament was also cited as the reason why Abueva suddenly left before a late-January game against Blackwater.
He even hinted of marital issues upon resurfacing weeks later, though Abueva and his wife were spotted attending the ASEAN Basketball League Finals last month.
Abueva had even decided to switch jersey numbers from No. 8 to No. 88, vowing to be a better version of himself. It appears, however, that problems have come back to haunt him.
“I think he’s trying to sort things out in his life,” Compton said.
Agent Danny Espiritu said Abueva appears to have cut communication lines, though he and the Alaska management continue to reach out in hopes of getting things sorted out.
It is interesting to speculate if his performance in the Iloilo leg of the All-Star festivities had a connection to any issues he’s dealing with.
Abueva became the first player to register a 40-point, 20-rebound game in the midseason classic, finishing with 41 points and 27 rebounds for the Smart All-Stars in a 157-141 loss to the Visayas All-Stars.
The 6-foot-4 forward played as if it was a deciding game of a championship series, which was somewhat odd considering that All-Star matches are meant as exhibitions and a chance to entertain the fans.
He was also one of few players to participate in all three All-Star legs, the other two matches held in Digos, Davao del Sur and Batangas City.
His absence is not the only thing that concerns Alaska these days after rookie forward Jeron Teng was stabbed in the back during a brawl outside of a bar in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Despite player issues affecting the squad, Alaska is in third place in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with five victories and one defeat.