Calvin Abueva is now a Phoenix Fuel Master…
… And it’s weird.
Alaska traded Abueva to Phoenix for Karl Dehesa and their 2019 first round pick.
I know… what the hell are the Aces thinking? But Alaska is going to get a dependable sub for a two-time AWOL-ing headcase. I mean I know Abueva has issues in need of solution but as a professional, he knows that Alaska needs to take care of their franchise success as well. Also, Alaska did well without The Beast. Vic Manuel is blossoming into a star player, Jeron Teng is in need of serious minutes, Sonny Thoss and JV Casio are turning back the clock, and I guess their Governors’ Cup import will surprise the potential Ginebra versus Meralco championship rematch (the return of LaDontae Henton could be a buzzkill though). As far as trading partners, Phoenix is benefiting from its predecessor’s lack of high-priced ballers (Barako Bull must be happy wherever they are). The Fuel Masters already obtained Ginebra’s 2018 first round pick and eased on their salary cap with the departure of Jeff Chan. If Calvin Abueva ends up with either the SMC or MVP bloc, at least he didn’t come from their hands.
And then there’s Karl Dehesa – selected 22nd overall by the Alaska Aces in the 2012 PBA Draft. Once a NLEX mainstay back in the D-League, he was left unsigned by the Aces and was forced to send his talents elsewhere (Saigon Heat) but due to his resiliency, he got to play for Kia/Mahindra where he enjoyed his best pro years. Dehesa is eager to earn a lengthy stay with the Aces since this is his fourth team in the last four seasons.
Abueva dug a hole so deep… Alex Compton had no choice to bid his services adieu. In some ways, Abueva could have been the second coming of Arwind Santos. Yes, he’s smaller… but he can score, board, and even play point. But as the years went, so did his awesomeness. Yes, he is still talented but Calvin would rather pick fights than pad his accomplishments. Gaining a Gilas Pilipinas spot should have been a plus but for some reason, he’s either a hit or a miss.
I wonder what will happen to Ronald Pascual?
With that said, Abueva escapes a gameplay that is limited to fewer than 24 minutes a game. It’s a feat in itself that Manuel is able to score despite said restrictions and an extended playing time could potentially throw us back to the time when Abueva had near triple-double averages.
Hopefully Abueva re-forms his game in Phoenix. The team is a mix of age and experience but they need a superstar to boost their title bid. They already have an offensive threat in Matthew Wright and they also have potential Rookie of the Year winner Jason Perkins in their stable. Eugene Phelps, James White’s Commissioner’s Cup replacement, will also represent the team in the season-ending tournament. Abueva will also reunite with Coach Louie Alas, former San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson, and former teammate RJ Jazul.
A mentally fit Abueva could give the Fuel Masters the winning edge. Just imagine if Phoenix could use their pick as well as the Ginebra pick to bolster their lineup. I don’t know the depth of this draft but they could potentially acquire the services of Bobby Ray Parks, Lawrence Domingo, and CJ Perez.
Alaska is also reliant on Phoenix’s 2018-19 season. If Abueva wants to seek revenge, then he should try his best to send Phoenix to title heaven so the Aces would not only receive a second stringer in Karl Dehesa… but a late first round pick as well.