Phoenix Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas sees the upside in adding talented but enigmatic forward Calvin Abueva.
"Nothing is easy with Calvin but we're willing to take the risk. We know it's a high risk but it is high production as well," Alas told ESPN5 on Tuesday.
Alas is confident he can relate to and manage Abueva because of their time together when Alas was one of Alex Compton's assistant coaches.
Alas said he already has had a blunt conversation with Abueva. The two met for a briefing in Pasig City.
"I told him that 'I know you're stubborn, but you also have to be reminded that you're now my player and I have high expectations on you.' I also told him that in terms of 'your personal life, you won't hear anything from me, but I'll just be here if you need me,'" Alas said.
The Aces suspended Abueva in June and he has not played a PBA game since. Abueva played just five games in the Commissioner's Cup but averaged 10.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
Alas is betting on Abueva's ability to reboot his career with the Fuel Masters, a team that is looking to make the playoffs in the Governors' Cup with import Eugene Phelps.
"Calvin is such a vocal player inside and outside the court. He's a locker room leader. In fact, I call him the 'Mouth from Pampanga,' but I call him that in a positive way because that's his personality and that's how he fires up his teammates," Alas said.
Abueva is expected to show up Wednesday when Phoenix plays NLEX in a scrimmage at the Upper Deck gym.