2012 PBA Draft: Calvin Abueva
June 24, 2012 by Sydrick Salazar
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Calvin Abueva is amply titled “The Beast” because he is an all-around threat at both ends of the court. While some of us are hunting for the next Eric Menk, Danny Seigle, and Asi Taulava (good luck with that), the most obvious trend here is claiming the prototype of Arwind Santos. The Spiderman’s stats per season always have a “one” in every category which makes him a valuable threat.
Abueva hopes to be an Arwind Santos clone.
Abueva caught national acclaim as Jimbo Aquino’s key support when the San Sebastian Stags coached by Ato Agustin held off the San Beda Red Lions to claim the NCAA title in 2009. When Aquino moved out of SSC, he amply took over. He became the leader of a menacing trio that also consisted of Ronald Pascual and Ian Sangalang. This trio never got a championship no thanks to San Beda but they will a final crack this season. Besides, it’s not as if they haven’t won anything yet considering that the NLEX Road Warriors have yet to lose a playoff series ever.
As reports slated, Calvin Abueva will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility to apply for the 2012 PBA Draft. If The Beast is bent to jump to the pros, he’ll be a welcome addition to the draft’s extremely shallow talent pool. The 2013 PBA Draft looks a lot more solid with the cast that includes Greg Slaughter, Stanley Pringle, Chris Banchero, and unless there’s a change of heart Junmar Fajardo, Chris Ellis, and my should-be top pick in the 2012 Draft Cliff Hodge. What the 2012 PBA Draft are at the moment are a bunch of somewhat unknown Fil-Ams (not unless you follow the D-League ardently) and a couple of familiar faces from the collegiate ranks.
Look for Abueva to be a possible top pick that wouldn’t go outside of the Top 5.
Now let’s check out the pros and cons of drafting him.
ALL AROUND: As I said earlier the guy will have the tendency of scoring 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists if he gets the adequate playing time. In PBA rookie standards, this is a nice stat. Now as the season wears you can see this number depending on his effectiveness. He can shoot the lights out or concoct a massive barrier to shut out the opposing star player.
MULTIPLE POSITIONS: I guess it’s safe to say that The Beast can roam freely at the SG, SF, and PF positions. His versatility is a wonderful facet especially in the import-laden conferences. Once he develops a PBA midrange game, his foes will have the terrible reality of guarding the shit off him.
WINNING TRADITION: There’s a difference between playing the game and winning it. Sure, he had one season where the Red Lions brought a rug and took it off their feet but there were also moments where he bucked the odds and made things happen. Petron will want this confidence but I don’t know if they have the roster spot to give it to him. On the other hand, Alaska may want to check him out because they want an all-around guy that hates to play beneath everyone.
KINDA LOCO: I am not saying he’ll morph to Ogie “I hear voices in my head” Menor but he has the tendency because he hates giving people easy shots. I’ll dread his physicality when he enters the pro ranks especially if for some insane reason Rain or Shine found a way to sneak into the Top 2. This facet of his game is the one he can do without.
SIZE DIFFERENCE: While he can play multiple positions, Abueva’s game would depend on the other forwards in their team. He is 6’2 after all and if he should play the PF spot (which he probably wouldn’t) he needs to have a big SF to back him up. Hell, Arwind and Danny Seigle play SF at times and they stand a lot higher than Abueva. For this we may see Vic Manuel, Keith Jensen, or a Kelly Nabong wearing an Aces cap in the post-draft photo op because they are certified bigs.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: This is the biggest hindrance for me in picking Abueva. Calvin plays for a team that is destined to contest for a title. With the NCAA ballooning to ten teams and with the tourney likely to last up to mid-September, there is a chance that he will miss a lot of practices, tune up games, and getting familiarized with their system. Still this will all depend on how a team treats him. Alaska will definitely treat him as their most hailed savior who needs to cram all their plays but if he plays for Petron, he can cram the plays all he wants but it’s the back of the line for him. I am bent that somehow if Alaska wins the top pick and Fajardo won’t join the draft, Agustin will do the “sane” thing in picking him as his second or third pick. There are players like Leo Najorda who had familiarize himself first with Yeng Guiao’s system before getting extended minutes but there are those like James Sena who was so busy trying to put JRU to a finals berth that when he began asking for his spot in San Miguel, it was already taken.
Like I said, he can go as high as first and as low as fifth. If he takes care of his body and makes an impact in the current season of the NCAA, then there’s a possibility of him really moving up in the draft. With that said though I can see him playing in a team that needs to pad their SF position and teams like Powerade, Meralco, Air21, and Ginebra should try their best to deal on his behalf.