Calvin Abueva of Magnolia and Terrence Romeo of San Miguel Beer will be marching into the new season of the Philippine Basketball Association with fire in their eyes following their botched stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou last month.
Abueva said being scratched off the Gilas lineup at the very last minute was painful so he will go hard to lead the Hotshots to the title of the Commissioner’s Cup that opens on 5 November at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Together with Mo Tautuaa and Jason Perkins, Abueva and Romeo were included in the Gilas roster following the departure of key players to various leagues abroad. Their participation, however, was declined as they were not included in the original pool submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the organizers in July. With that, they were dropped from the final lineup and were denied a chance to be part of the team that won the country’s first Asian Games gold medal in 61 years.
“Anybody who gets promoted would be happy and might cry for joy,” said Abueva, who is facing a one-month absence as he still recovers from a procedure to remove hemorrhoids recently.
“You received a call and you were so happy. Happy because you were still a part of them, but sad because you couldn’t join them (in the Asiad).”
Abueva said he will turn his frustration into motivation by going all out inside the court.
“But my mind set is, I’ll bounce back strong this coming season for Magnolia,” he said.
Romeo, for his part, admitted that he was disappointed when he learned the news of his botched Asiad stint. He, however, accepted the situation, knowing that it was something beyond his control.
“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to play,” Romeo said.
“We were not left out of the team. It’s beyond our control. Our team loves to include us. We felt sad, it would have been a great return for us, but our journey doesn’t stop there.”
Romeo said he is still looking forward to donning the Gilas jersey someday.