GAB reinstates Calvin Abueva's professional license subject to requirements

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) announced Friday the reinstatement of Calvin Abueva's professional license ahead of the resumption of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

In a statement, the GAB outlined two major caveats, as agreed upon by its board earlier this morning.

These two additional requirements are:

1. He must undergo a seminar on The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of a Professional Athlete and sign that he will abide by it, and;

2. He must undergo the mandatory drug test as part of the medical requirements.

Per GAB Commissioner Ed Trinidad, it was agreed upon that Abueva will head to the office for his required seminar and drug tests.

"He told us the last time we talked, that he was allowed to leave the bubble if it is needed," Trinidad told ESPN5 in a message.

Trinidad added that the forward was remorseful in their hour-long meeting.

"He was remorseful and apologetic and he realized that he did something wrong. He also promised that he won't do it again," said Trinidad.

"Let this be a lesson to all professional athletes. A pro license is only a privilege and along with it comes great responsibility. A hard lesson learned on the part of Calvin Abueva but we believe he deserves a second chance to redeem himself."

Abueva will have to sign a waiver abiding by the rules set. The Philippine Cup will resume on Oct. 11 at the Angeles University Foundation.

Getting back his professional license, though, does not necessarily mean the league will automatically lift Abueva's suspension. Sought for comment, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial reiterated that he still had some requirements for Abueva that, he said in Filipino, were "for the good of everyone, of the league, and of Abueva."

Nonetheless, Phoenix interim head coach Topex Robinson expressed his gratitude to the GAB, while clarifying that Abueva might not need to leave the bubble to complete his requirements with the government agency.

"So thankful to Commissioner Mitra and the GAB office for reinstating the license of Calvin," Robinson said in a message to ESPN5.com. "I'm not sure if he still needs to leave (the bubble) or not. We will wait for the GAB's decision."

The Fuel Masters said Friday evening that they are thankful for the decision to help give Abueva a chance to redeem himself.

"The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters are grateful to Games and Amusement Board led by Chairman Abraham Mitra and to all its Commissioners for giving Calvin a step closer to resume playing professional basketball. This step provides Calvin an opportunity, more than anything else, to be an example to the public that indeed people can be given a chance to redeem themselves and be a positive example to the basketball community," team manager Paolo Bugia told ESPN5.

"While we still await the final decision of the PBA, we will comply with all the conditions that the Games and Amusements Board require of Calvin. We would like to thank them for accommodating us despite the many constraints brought by the pandemic. They truly are a major factor in the continued reformation of Calvin," he added.

Abueva has been suspended since June 2019 for fighting former TNT import Terrence Jones, and committing lewd gestures against a girlfriend of another player in separate incidents that happened mere days apart. His suspension is the longest in league history.

ESPN5.com's Eros Villanueva contributed to this report.