Calvin Abueva and the Alaska Aces have parted ways.
The Aces traded the controversial forward, who has played only for Alaska since joining the league in 2012, to the Phoenix Fuel Masters, reportedly for a 2019 first-round pick and Karl Dehesa.
"The Alaska Aces have decided to trade Calvin Abueva to Phoenix," the team said in a statement. "We would like to thank Calvin for his six years of service with Alaska and the good memories. We felt as a franchise it was best for both Alaska and Calvin to have a fresh start at this time."
Abueva has been out of action since early June after he left the team due to "personal reasons". On June 9, Aces management suspended him indefinitely for "failing to advise the coaching staff and management of his whereabouts".
While serving his suspension, Abueva was tapped to represent the country in two FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers games, seeing action against Chinese Taipei on June 29 and Australia on July 2. In the latter match, a free-for-all broke out, leading FIBA to suspend 13 players from both sides. Abueva ended up with the lengthiest suspension with a six-game ban.
The Aces selected Abueva with the second overall pick in the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft. June Mar Fajardo was picked first overall. He won his only title in 2013 when Alaska bagged the Commissioner's Cup crown under Luigi Trillo.
Abueva's hustle made him a fan favorite among the Aces faithful. Yet his relationship with team management wasn't always rosy and has previously left the team to deal with personal issues.
Abueva gets a fresh start with the Fuel Masters, who just missed out on the quarterfinals in the Commissioner's Cup and are still searching for a breakthrough performance since joining the league over two years ago. With Phoenix, Abueva will be reunited with Gilas Pilipinas teammate Matthew Wright and former Alaska teammate RJ Jazul and former Alaska assistants Louie Alas and Topex Robinson and will get to team up with promising youngsters Jason Perkins and Gelo Alolino.
Dehesa will be joining the team that originally drafted him in 2012, 20 picks after Abueva, but didn't sign him. A four-year PBA veteran, Dehesa will fight for playing time on a loaded Alaska backcourt that includes Chris Banchero, JVee Casio, Kevin Racal, Simon Enciso, and Ping Exciminiano.