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

Gilas Pilipinas' Calvin Abueva during training

Gilas Pilipinas’ Calvin Abueva during training. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Donning 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 Philsports Arena on Thursday, Abueva revealed that he is feeling pressure about suiting up again for the national team, especially now since he is not getting any younger.

“There’s pressure for me, of course, because I’m back at 35 years old but I’ll give my best,” said Abueva in Filipino.” Whatever I can bring, heart, everything, I’ll give it inside [the court].”

Abueva’s runs with Gilas Pilipinas have been a mixed bag.

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

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

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

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during the team’s opening training with the Gilas Women’s team on Thursday at Philsports Arena. –MARLO CUETO/

But that’s all in the past now for the Hotshots’ main attraction as he looks to give it all once more for Gilas under coach Tim Cone come the 2022 Asian Games in  Hangzhou, China.

Abueva will compete even with an undisclosed injury he chose not to address.

“It’s just a little injury, don’t worry, it’s far from the stomach,” Abueva said in jest.

“Small injuries, they’re nothing. In here, you need a big heart. After all, this isn’t your team, this is the whole country’s team so whatever you can give, you give,” he added further.

Cone, who is taking over on an interim basis after Chot Reyes “stepped aside,” is also excited to have an energizer like Abueva in the lineup.

“You got guys like Calvin, Terrence (Romeo) and Mo (Tautuaa) who are ecstatic about being in the national team so they’ll bring that energy and desire to go out and play and you know Calvin,” said coach, singling out the former PBA Best Player of the Conference.

“Calvin will bring it all. He won’t leave anything in the locker room.”

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