Alaska owner suspends team’s No. 1 player
By JONAS TERRADO
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs Columbian
6:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Magnolia
Alaska has placed star forward Calvin Abueva under indefinite suspension on the eve of the Aces’ match against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Owner Wilfred Uytengsu announced the sanction yesterday after Abueva went AWOL since the end of the PBA All-Star Week two weeks ago to deal with personal issues. The enigmatic cager reportedly showed up at a recent Aces practice to shed light on the matter.
“The Alaska Aces have placed Calvin on indefinite suspension following his more than one week of absence from practice and failing to advise the coaching staff and management of his whereabouts,” Uytengsu said in a statement.
“While we understand Calvin may be going through some troubling personal issues, it does not obviate his responsibility to his team. The suspension is effective immediately,” added Uytengsu.
Uytengsu added that Abueva can suit up for Gilas Pilipinas in the next window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers “if coach Chot Reyes chooses to use him in the lineup.”
Abueva won’t see action in the 6:45 p.m. match as Alaska tries to also hurdle the absence of rookie Jeron Teng, who is still recovering from stab wounds sustained in a fight with two suspects last weekend in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Teng said in a tweet that he’s still unsure as to when he’ll return after being stabbed three times in the back during the incident. The former La Salle star is now at home focusing on his full recovery.
Aces coach Alex Compton will lean on import Antonio Campbell and Vic Manuel, the league’s top scorer this conference at 23.2 points per game, as they look to hike their winning streak to six games and tie idle TNT KaTropa (6-1) for second place.
Magnolia, meanwhile, will parade a new import in Justin Jackson after absorbing back-to-back defeats with Curtis Kelly.