PBA chief to Abueva: Bring back 'Rookie of the Year' ways

by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 14 2014 11:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2014 07:27 AM

Calvin Abueva of Alaska goes for the loose ball. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud has urged Calvin Abueva to drop his “troubled ways” and bring back “The Beast” that steered Alaska to the Commissioner’s Cup title.

Salud lamented that Abueva has been getting a lot of attention lately, not because of his God-given talents, but because of his involvement in controversies.

Just recently, the prized forward banged heads with Jared Dillinger while he contested the latter’s drive to the basket during the Meralco-Alaska game.

Dillinger ended up with a busted nose after getting hit by Abueva’s wayward elbow while crashing down from the basket.

The incident led to a commotion which prompted the league to reprimand the two players.

But Salud is focusing on Abueva, who has become a frequent visitor to the PBA commissioner’s office.

“Calvin Abueva is a talented player,” Salud told Dennis Principe on 104.3 FM's Sports Chat. “Nagpa-champion yan sa Alaska, Rookie of the Year.”

“I told him na ibalik mo ang Calvin Abueva na nag-Rookie of the Year.”

Salud said that this was the advice he gave to Abueva when the latter appeared in his office to explain his role

The PBA chief said Abueva looked sensational when he first entered the league after his tour of duty with the San Sebastian College Stags.

“Yun ang Calvin Abueva na nagfofocus sa game. ‘Yung antics at a minimum lang,” he said. “’Yung Calvin na nafa-flop, na nakabanggaan ng ibang players, hindi ‘yan ‘yung Calvin na nag-Rookie of the Year.”

“Ang gusto ko sa kanya ay yung maglaro siya ng tuwid.”

Salud said he decided to fine both Dillinger and Abueva based on their actions during the fracas and not based on their previous records.

He said that as PBA commissioner, it is imperative that he look into the situation objectively and not judge each player based on their previous infractions.

“I look at the act per se. Kung isasali mo dyan ang history ng player, kanya kanyang speculations na ‘yan. Hindi porke’t mabait hindi pwedeng gawin ng player ‘yan, or porke't pilyo, gagawin n’ya,” explained Salud. “The way to look at it should be objective.”

The scuffle started when Abueva blocked Dillinger’s shot 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The two collided mid-air and ended crashing on the cushioned railing when Dillinger held on Abueva’s jersey.

The Alaska forward apparently hit Dillinger with an elbow on their way down, busting the Filipino-American’s nose.

“’Yung block n’ya on Jared was a clean one but ‘yung succeeding while unintentional [started the trouble],” said Salud.

“[Dillinger was hit] sa kaliwang mata, isa sa ilong at ang balita ko nga nag-crack pa ang ilong ni Jared. Tingin ko doon masyadong malakas ang blow sa second motion that's why I elevated it to unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Dillinger, who was seen going after Abueva’s neck, received a fine of P10,000. His technical foul for taunting was upgraded to flagrant/unsportsmanlike foul.

Abueva was also fined P10,000. His technical foul for second motion was also upgraded to flagrant/unsportsmanlike foul.

“The Beast” was slapped another P3,000 fine for flopping, with the Commissioner’s Office observing his “proclivity to exaggerate fouls against him and other forms of physical contact in which he is involved.”

Salud said Abueva will receive stiffer fines if he gets caught flopping again.

“The next penalty will be harsher, I didn't need to remind him that.”