Photo from PBA Images

Coach Chito Victolero expects Calvin Abueva to have a smooth transition after Magnolia made a stunning move to acquire the energetic superstar in a trade with Phoenix Super LPG.

The Hotshots put themselves in consideration as one of the early contenders for the PBA’s 46th season after giving up Chris Banchero and the sixth and 18th overall selections in the Rookie Draft to the Fuel Masters in exchange for Abueva and this year’s 10th pick.

Abueva’s arrival is seen as an addition that will solidify the way how the defensive-oriented Hotshots play.

“I think hindi naman masyadong malaki yung adjustment kay Calvin. The way we play and the kind of play na ginagawa niya is the same.,” Victolero told the Manila Bulletin shortly after the deal was approved by the league.

“We’re more up-tempo. We’re more on being a team that plays pressure defense so yun din siya. He wants a more up-tempo game, maasahan namin siya sa pressure defense namin, sa rebounding, yung energy na mabibigay niya so yun yung team namin.

“Calvin can also play multiple positions so I think magandang addition yun, because we can play small, we can play big, we can play with size. So, madami kaming pwedeng gawin sa addition ni Calvin.”

Victolero said he was made aware that a deal was in the works a day earlier, but Magnolia had to give a talented player in Banchero, who lasted just 1 1/2 seasons after being acquired from Alaska in Nov. 2019.

With Abueva, Magnolia enhanced a roster that already has Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang, Jio Jalalon, Jackson Corpuz and Rome Dela Rosa.

His transition will perhaps be more easier with his reunion with Sangalang, his former teammate with San Sebastian in the NCAA, Excelroof in the defunct Philippine Basketball League and NLEX in the PBA D-League.

The two won a combined five championships during their time with those teams, and Magnolia is hoping that Abueva and Sangalang can add another as pros.

“Malaking factor si Ian because yung adjustment niya dito, matuturuan siya, maguguide siya, at the same time yung environment niya sa practice may kakilala na siya,” Victolero said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (