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PBA commissioner Willie Marcial can't promise a Calvin Abueva return in the bubble

Calvin Abueva's PBA return is still in limbo. Ernie Sarmiento

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial remains non-committal on the status of Calvin Abueva and the chances of him making Phoenix's lineup for the bubble in Clark, Pampanga, even as the suspended forward met with officials of the Games and Amusements Board to discuss the possible lifting of his suspension.

In an online press conference Tuesday, Marcial said the indefinite suspension that has shelved Abueva's career for 15 months now has yet to be lifted pending the completion of his requirements.

"Kakausap ko lang kay Calvin. May tinatapos pa rin sa requirements (I just talked to Calvin. He still lacks some requirements)," said Marcial.

Marcial also said he is aware of the criticisms lobbed at him and the league.

"Eto po ay sa kabutihan ni Calvin, sa kabutihan ng PBA at sa kabutihan ng lahat. Kung nagagalit po kayo sa'kin, pasensya na po. Ito po ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat (this is for the good of Calvin, for the good of the PBA, for the good of everyone. If you're angry at me, my apologies. But this is for the good of everyone)," he said.

Phoenix tried adding the 32-year-old star to its 25-man list for the bubble but was reportedly denied by the league.

Asked whether Abueva could still make the season restart by Oct. 11, Marcial said it's all up in the air at this point.

"Tingnan na lang natin (let's see)," he said. "Mahirap, ayaw ko mag-commit. Pwede, pwedeng hindi. Tingnan natin kung sasama si Calvin sa bubble. Tingnan muna natin (It's hard, I don't want to commit. It could be yes, it could be no. Let's see if Calvin can join the bubble)."

Marcial said the official rosters, as well as the schedule of the Philippine Cup resumption, will be announced on Oct. 5 or 7.

Meanwhile, Abueva headed to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) office Tuesday afternoon to seek permission for a return to play.

He was accompanied by longtime mentor Topex Robinson and talked to Commissioner Eduard Trinidad and Professional Games head June Bautista.

"Today Phoenix PBA player Calvin Abueva accompanied by Coach Topex Robinson went to visit the GAB to seek permission to play once again," said the agency in a statement.

"However, Commissioner Eduard Trinidad did not commit anything and said that Abueva's request will be discussed and decided upon by the Board in the next Board meeting," he added.

Once his plea gets approved by the board, there will still be once more obstacle the forward will have to take before possibly being cleared to come back by the resumption of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup on Oct. 11.

"He will undergo a seminar on Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of a Professional Athletes once the GAB Board decides to give back his license," closed the statement.