Phoenix hoping Abueva would be reinstated

    ABUEVA: His prowess is badly needed by Phoenix.
    ABUEVA: His prowess is badly needed by Phoenix.

    PHOENIX Pulse is steadily plugging some of the holes in its roster, but the biggest void remains.

    Coach Louie Alas yesterday said only the reinstatement of Calvin Abueva would make the Fuel Masters more complete and better equipped for the coming PBA season.

    “Calvin is Calvin pa rin and ‘yung makakapuno sa dati niyang puwesto, si Calvin lang,” Alas said.

    “Hopefully, ma-lift na ‘yung suspension sa kanya para more or less competitive na itong team ko,” he added.

    Alas spoke after the deal that gave Phoenix Sol Mercado from NorthPort for LA Revilla and Rey Guevarra was officially approved by the PBA.

    The trade came on the heels of separate transactions that netted the Fuel Masters Jake Pascual from Alaska in exchange for a draft pick and Brian Heruela from Blackwater for Ron Dennison.

    Alas said Heruela and Mercado will anchor Phoenix’s backcourt defense which they intend to assert in the coming wars.

    “Both of them have the defensive mindset na gustong-gusto namin and they are sure to work well du’n sa defense namin, lalo na sa fullcourt press,” explained Alas.

    Pascual will take over the center spot vacated when Doug Kramer retired.

    “Siya ‘yung replacement ni Doug kasi nag-retire na nga siya,” Alas said of Pascual, only 6-foot-4 but a known banger since his San Beda days.

    “Though medium-sized big man pa rin, but every rebound na makukuha niya para sa amin malaking bagay na,” added Alas.

    “‘Yun kasing rebounding ang naging weakest spot namin nu’ng last two conferences without Calvin. Halos bumaba ng 20 percent kami sa area na iyon. With Pascual siguro hanggang seven rebounds makukuha niya.”

    Understandably, the lifting of Abueva’s suspension would be the most welcome news for Alas but he knows that decision lies only in PBA commissioner Willie Marcial’s hands.

    “Hopefully, soon kasi lahat ng ipinapagawa kay Calvin ginawa na niya,” said Alas. “Pero, iyon nga, na kay Comm kung kailan ma-li-lift ‘yung suspension.”