Calvin Abueva becomes more inspired to lead the Alaska Aces in winning this year’s Philippine Basketball Association’s Season 41 Philippine Cup title this coming Wednesday after receiving the Spin.ph Sportsman of the Year award on Saturday.
Although the Aces were being beaten by the defending champion San Miguel Beermen in the last three games after holding a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, Abueva said he is now starting to regain his confidence to boost his morale before the winner take-all Game 7 comes.
“It’s game time on Wednesday and I’m very thankful for this award. It boosts my confidence and it really helps a lot,” Abueva, the player known as “The Beast”, told The Manila Times Saturday in an interview after the Athletes of the Year awards night at the Marriot Grand Ballroom Hotel in Pasay City.
“I’m really inspired, we just have to give our best on Wednesday,” he added. “This is my second time to play in Game 7 championship game. It is really up to God if he will give it [the title]to us. That’s how it goes after leading 3-0, now they tied the series to 3-3. We just have to play our very best.”
Abueva was also part of the Philippine team’s Gilas Pilipinas under the tutelage of coach Tab Baldwin that won first runner-up in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China. He also played for Philippine team during the FIBA 3-on-3 competition.
The Alaska Aces and the San Miguel Beermen will clash for title on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Again, I’m thankful that I was selected by Spin and I would like to thank my coaches too who support and guide me,” said the 6’3 Abueva of Pampanga, who was joined by Alaska mentor Alex Compton, assistant coach Louie Alas and team governor Dickie Bachmann.
Last year’s Spin.ph Sportsman of the Year was national player Jimmy Alapag.
Other awardees were Ateneo De Manila University’s volleyball player Alyssa Valdez (Sportsmen Who Change the Game); Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny V. Pangilinan (Sportsmen Who Make It Happen); Gilas coach Tab Baldwin (Sportsmen Who Take The Lead); Rising star Kobe Paras (Sportsmen Who Inspire Hope); ASEAN Para games gold medalist Ernie Gawilan (Sportsmen Who Defy the Odds); NCAA champions Letran Knights (Sportsmen Who Succeed As One); University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (Sportsmen Who Care); World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (Sportsmen Who Embody The Filipino Fighting Spirit); and UP honor student-basketball player JR Gallarza (Sportsmen Who Excel In Academics).