(Photo By: Richard Esguerra/Sports Gateway PH)
The Beast isn’t done yet representing the country.
Fresh from his stint with Gilas that captured the silver medal in the recent FIBA Asia Championship, Calvin Abueva leads Manila North as they battle Kranj of Slovenia and Doha of Qatar today at the start of the 2015 FIBA 3×3 World Tour in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
The game with the Slovenians is at 1:20 p.m. (9:20 a.m. Manila time) and the match with the Qataris is at 3:10 p.m.(12:10 p.m. Manila time).
In Pool A are Novi Sad of UAE, Rio of Brazil and Vilnius of Lithuania. Pool B has Ljubljana of Slovenia, Santos of Brazil and Denver of the United States, while in Pool C are Trbovlje of Slovenia, Kolobrzeg of Poland and New York Harlem of USA.
Teams in the same pool engage each other with the top two moving to the do-or-die quarterfinals. The last four advance to the semifinals where the winners dispute the title.
Novi Sad reigned in the 2014 World Tour in Sendai, Japan where it defeated Saskatoon of Canada in the final. Manila West, which upset Doha in the Manila Masters final, finished fiftn behind Kranj and Bucharest.
With Abueva are Aces teammate Vic Manuel, who made a last-minute decision to join the team, Mahindra’s Karl Dehesa and Talk ‘N Text rookie Troy Rosario.
“Laban lang kami para sa bayan,” said Abueva prior to their departure, “Basta kami, ibibigay namin lahat ng makakaya para sa Filipinas.”
Manila North qualified to the world championship after finishing second to Novi Sad Al Wahda in the FIBA Manila Masters leg last August at Robinson’s Place in Ermita,. En route to gaining a slot in Abu Dhabi, Abueva and Co. dethroned Terrence Romeo and the Manila West team in the semifinals.
Abueva made it to FIBA 3×3 basketball folklore last year with an emotional return from the hospital where he had earlier rushed his wife who was about to give birth to their fourth son.
With injury-saddled Manila North trailing Xinzhuang in the quarters, Abueva rushed into the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall and saved the day for his team to the deafening cheer of the packed five-story balcony.