Marcial lauds Abueva for public apology, says lifting ban 'a long process'

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial commended suspended Phoenix forward Calvin Abueva for the public apology video he posted on his Instagram account over the weekend.

But Marcial said that Abueva still has to comply with "some steps" he has mandated before he decides to lift the indefinite ban.

"What he did was good. We have been talking, but the process (of lifting the suspension) is still long," Marcial said Sunday night.

Marcial didn't give any timeline on Abueva's return to the court, stressing that everything depends on how compliant the Phoenix veteran will be.

"If he'll be able to do what we talked about, and I gave him a list of things to do, if he can do all those, then we'll talk again," he added.

The decision to lift Abueva's ban will not require the PBA Board of Governors' approval, but Marcial said he will also try to solicit ideas from the board once the right time comes.

"The decision doesn't need the approval of the governors. But I'll also tell them...depends on their comments since they are all my bosses," he said.

As far as Phoenix coach Louie Alas is concerned, the recent steps Abueva has taken gives him hope that the "Beast" can see action in time. Alas is also happy that Abueva has finally admitted his mistakes.

"Great for Calvin because before, he feels it wasn't his fault. But now he's learned to accept it (his mistakes)," Alas told ESPN5 Monday. "I feel Calvin has started to mature and he's willing to undergo the process. Now we can also see the light under the tunnel because before, there's none since he was suspended indefinitely."

Alas believes Abueva is often misunderstood.

"If people only know Calvin, he's such a good person. He's rugged but he's got a nice heart," said Alas. "Feeding the street kids and Calvin teaching what he knows about basketball, he's been doing that since his days at San Sebastian. And he's done that because Quiapo is very near San Sebastian."

For now, Alas said Abueva has had series of talks with Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia that has nothing to do with basketball.

"The talks have basically been about daily life because that's what's been lacking with Calvin. He doesn't have interaction (with people)," he said.

Marcial had already given Abueva the green light to join Phoenix's practices, which was a positive step towards his reinstatement.

It has been over four months since Abueva was slapped with an indefinite ban. Abueva was suspended after a series of incidents -- a hit on TNT import Terrence Jones during the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup and a verbal spat he had with Bobby Ray Parks' girlfriend in May.