THE “Beast” is bringing his act to Magnolia Pambansang Manok in the PBA.
Calvin Abueva, the hard-working but controversial power-forward of Phoenix Super LPG, was traded to Magnolia in exchange for Chris Banchero and the Hotshots’ two rookie picks this year.
In the newest trade approved by the PBA Commissioner’s Office two months before the formal opening of tne league’s 46th season on April 9, Abueva will now play for the Hotshots alongside his former San Sebastian College teammate Ian Sangalang.
Magnolia also acquired Phoenix’s No. 10 pick overall in the coming PBA Rookie Draft scheduled on March 14.
Phoenix, on the other hand, took Banchero and Magnolia’s first round pick (No. 6 overall) as well as its second-round draft rights (No. 18 overall).
A first-round pick of the Alaska Milk in the 2014 Draft, Banchero will join his third team since his entry to the league.
Banchero, the 32-year-old Filipino-Italian from Seattle, was a PBA All-Star in 2018 and PBA All-Rookie team in 2015.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero welcomed Abueva’s addition to the Hotshots’ line-up, saying the 33-year-old player from Angeles City will bring the “kind of toughness the team needs.”
Victolero noted Abueva’s performance for Phoenix during the 2020 PBA bubble where he posted an average of 15.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 17 games despite being inactive for 16 months due to a league-imposed suspension.
Abueva,who just signed a lucrative three-year contract with Phoenix two months ago, also figured prominently in the race for the coveted Best Player of the Conference award.
He also made it to the PBA Eite Five for outstanding players during the NBA-inspired bubble in Angeles City.
“Sa tingin ko, magandang addition sa team si Calvin. Madami siyang nagagawa sa games na wala sa stats, like yung mga hustle plays at hard work,” Victolero told the official PBA website.
“The way we play and the kind of play na ginagawa niya is the same. He also wants a more up-tempo game. Maaasahan namin siya sa pressure defense, sa rebounding, sa energy na maibibigay niya,“added Victolero.
Experts also said Magnolia will benefit a lot with Abueva’s reunion with Sangalang.
Abueva, Sangalang and former PBA player Ronald Pascual formed the vaunted “Pinatubo Trio” of San Sebastian, which won the 2009 NCAA men’s basketball championship under coach Renato Agustin.
The trade will also reunite Banchero with Phoenix coach Topex Robinson, a former assistant when the two were still with Alaska.