The PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals are set to get underway with the Alaska Aces taking on the defending champion San Miguel Beermen. This matchup should be something to watch although it will exclude one of the colorful players in Calvin Abueva.
In a report by the Manila Bulletin, Abueva has been ruled out for the PBA semifinals. He continues to be suspended for missing several games, a directive coming from big boss Wilfred Uytengsu.
Even without the “Beast”, the Aces look formidable. They got this far without Abueva, riding on the vastly improved play of Vic Manuel. There is, of course, balik-import Diamon Simpson as well, meaning the Beermen cannot afford to let their guard down against Alaska.
Going back to Abueva, it seems pretty obvious that the former San Sebastian Stag is headed to another team. But the question now is where.
Seeing how he has made himself available for Gilas Pilipinas, a wise bet would be to see him landing on one of the Manny V. Pangilinan-backed teams. TnT KaTropa, Meralco, and NLEX could use his energy and game contributions although sacrifices need to be made.
According to sources, Abueva is in the market but only if Alaska gets the right assets in return. Rumor has it that they offered him to Ginebra but wanted Greg Slaughter in return. And as one would guess, the Kings thumbed that down. Though Gregzilla has been often injured, the fact is you cannot teach height.
For TnT, the KaTropa may only be able to unload guards. As most know, they do have a redundant mix with Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, and Jericho Cruz. A package could be made although it may involve multiple players. Matching that with the current roster of the Aces, a deal may not make sense since they also have a cramped backcourt.
NLEX, on the other hand, could use someone filled with energy. But will Abueva blend in with coach Yeng Guiao’s system? The Road Warriors don’t really have much to offer aside from perhaps the suspended Kiefer Ravena. But it would be hard to imagine that NLEX would offload the “Phenom” even if he is on suspension.
Meralco could offload some players like Chris Newsome and/or Baser Amer. These were the same guys mentioned in a possible trade for Romeo when the latter was still being dangled by GlobalPort. The Bolts could use Abueva only that they need to see who the Aces would be interested in. Would Abueva thrive under coach Norman Black?
Magnolia, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, Blackwater or Columbian Dyip could make a play with the right assets as well. It all boils down to which interests the Aces at this point.
With the success they are enjoying even with Abueva in cold storage, height seems to be the only thing that would be of interest right now. Hence, a likely destination for Abueva is a team that has a promising center or slotman – except for June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter of course.
Your guess is as good as mine.