SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–Calvin Abueva would rather focus on finding a way to help Phoenix than dwell on his much-awaited faceoff with TNT’s Ray Parks Jr. in the semifinals.
The Fuel Masters and the Tropang Giga arranged a best-of-five semifinal duel in the PBA Philippine Cup after dispatching their respective foes on Saturday night at the AUF Arena.
Phoenix escaped Magnolia, 89-88, on Matthew Wright’s running triple. Earlier in the day, TNT thrashed Alaska, 104-83.
Talks about the Abueva-Parks match-up quickly flooded the social media following the No. 2 seed Fuel Masters’ nail-biting victory over the Hotshots where Abueva tallied six points, eight rebounds and two assists.
It could be remembered that one of the reasons for Abueva’s indefinite suspension was the obscene gesture he made to Parks’ girlfriend Maika Rivera during Phoenix’s game against Blackwater in last year’s Commisioners’ Cup. Parks was still with the Elite during that time.
And just over a week ago, that incident was under the spotlight anew after Parks denied Abueva’s story in the Sports Page that the two of them are already on good terms after the Angeles City native claimed that he personally apologized to the Fil-Am cager in a chance meeting at the Quest Hotel.
But for the 32-year-old Abueva, it’s all in the past now as he tries to help Phoenix fly to its first-ever finals appearance.
“Actually, move on na ‘ko dyan. Wala na ‘kong pakialam kung anong sasabihin nila at sasabihin ng iba. Ang akin lang kung paano namin maipanalo itong series against TNT,” he said.
“Hindi ‘to sa’kin against sa kanya (Parks). Walang personalan about sa’min ‘to.”
Interestingly, the other reason for the suspension of “The Beast” also involved TNT.
Abueva went for a clothesline hit on TNT import Terrence Jones after apparently taking a hit in the groin from the American cager. Two days after that incident, the PBA slapped Abueva with a hefty fine and an indefinite suspension that lasted for 16 months.
But Abueva insisted to put those events behind him and just look forward to their semifinal campaign.
“Kailangan namin ilabas lahat kasi hindi madali ‘to. Ibubuhos namin lahat para sa series na ‘to.”