<
>

Missing no more: Calvin Abueva finally shows up at Gilas practice

Calvin Abueva finally resurfaced, showing up at Gilas Pilipinas practice on Monday at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas.

Abueva had been missing-in-action not only for Gilas but also from the Alaska Aces since the PBA All-Star break. He hasn't attended Aces' practices, and team management on Saturday suspended him indefinitely for failing to inform the team of his whereabouts.

"While the team understands that Abueva may be going through some troubling personal issues, it does not obviate his responsibility to his team," Alaska's statement said. "The suspension is effective immediately."

The statement said the team will "allow Abueva to play for Gilas if Coach Chot Reyes chooses to use him in the lineup."

Reyes was happy to see Abueva at Monday night's practice but said Abueva will still have to earn his spot on the national team roster. Gilas is preparing for Chinese Taipei in the third window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers set on June 29.

Reyes said Abueva's inclusion on the final roster of 12 depends on how he performs in practice.

"We never took [Abueva] out of the pool," Reyes said Monday. "He just came in, just explained [his situation]. And his absence [at Gilas practice] was just one, which was last week."

Reyes said he spoke to Alaska coach Alex Compton about Abueva's situation.

"[Abueva rejoining Gilas practice is] not a guarantee because he still has to earn his spot in the final 12 with [depending] on how he practices because we have different members here and Calvin knows that," Reyes said.

Abueva finished the hour-long practice and seemed active. But Reyes said it's hard to tell if Abueva is in game shape since they didn't have a 5-of-5 scrimmage.

Other Gilas players who practiced on Monday were Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Jio Jalalon, Baser Amer, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Jayson Castro, and Jio Jalalon.

Naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, who flew in on Saturday evening, was also present.

A number of Gilas Cadets -- Jjay Alejandro, Vince Tolentino, Arvin Tolentino, Troy Rike, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, Prince Rivero, Juan Gomez, De Llano, Ken Tuffin, Will Gozum, Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Javee Mocon, Carl Tamayo and Abu Tratter -- also came to give the senior squad a hand.

The 30-year-old Abueva made the cut against Australia and Japan, averaging 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Gilas faces Chinese Taipei in Taiwan on June 29 before heading back to Manila to host Australia at the Philippine Arena on July 2.