- Name: Calvin Abueva
- Position: Forward
- Date of Birth: February 4, 1988
- Height: 6’2″ (191 cm)
- Weight: 209 lbs (95 kg)
- Nationality: Filipino
- Team: Magnolia Hotshots (Philippine Basketball Association – PBA)
- Spouse: Salome ‘Sam’ Alejandra
Calvin Abueva, born on February 4, 1988, in the Philippines, is a dynamic and electrifying force in Philippine basketball.
Known for his relentless energy, tenacity, and versatile playing style, Abueva has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting players in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
He was also the first player in Philippine collegiate basketball history to lead in points, rebounds and assists in a single season. He did this while playing for San Sebastián College.
Standing at 6 feet 2 inches (191 cm) and weighing 209 pounds (95 kg), Abueva may not be the tallest player on the court, but he more than makes up for it with his heart, hustle, and skill.
He made his professional debut in 2012 with the Alaska Aces and has played for the Phoenix LPG Fuel Masters before moving to the Magnolia Hotshots in 2021. He earned the nickname “The Beast” for his ability to contribute to every facet of the game.
‘The Beast’ of the PBA
Calvin is called ‘The Beast’ because he is really strong and powerful when he plays. He has a lot of energy and even if he doesn’t score, he still helps his teammates. Abueva is a high-level scorer, rebounder, passer and defender, which makes him easy to plug into any lineup.
He made a difference right from the start, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2013.
Draft and Early Career: Abueva was drafted in 2012 by the Alaska Aces as the second overall pick. He quickly made an impact in the league, showcasing his aggressive and energetic style of play. He was known for his ability to score, rebound, and play tough defense, making him a versatile threat on both ends of the court.
- Achievements and Awards: Throughout his career, Abueva has been recognized for his talents. He won the PBA Rookie of the Year award in his first season. He also played a significant role in helping his team win championships and has been selected as an All-Star multiple times.
- Playing Style: Abueva is known for his intensity on the court. His playing style is characterized by his physicality, hustle, and ability to play various positions. This versatility has made him a valuable player, but it has also been a source of controversy due to his sometimes overly aggressive tactics.
- Controversies and Suspensions: His career has been marred by several incidents leading to suspensions. Abueva’s on-court antics and confrontations with players, coaches, and referees have often overshadowed his basketball abilities. These incidents have led to multiple fines and suspensions, impacting his career and reputation.
Abueva served a 16-month suspension after clotheslining Terrence Jones and making lewd gestures to Bobby Parks Jr.’s girlfriend.
- Impact on PBA: Despite the controversies, Abueva remains one of the most impactful players in the PBA. His energy and competitiveness have made him a fan favorite and a challenging opponent on the court. He has contributed significantly to the teams he has played for and to the league’s overall competitiveness and entertainment value.
Calvin Abueva’s PBA career is a blend of remarkable talent and controversial moments, making him one of the more unique and memorable figures in Philippine basketball history.
- Joining Gilas Pilipinas: Abueva was selected to join Gilas Pilipinas due to his impressive performance in the PBA. His inclusion in the national team was seen as a testament to his abilities and the distinct style of play he could contribute to the team.
- Major Tournaments: Abueva played in significant international tournaments with Gilas Pilipinas, including the FIBA Asia Championship and the Southeast Asian Games. His performances in these competitions often stood out, both for his energetic play and for the occasional flare-ups of his fiery temperament.
- Impact on the Team: Abueva’s presence on the court was always noticeable. He was able to lift the team’s energy, often becoming a spark plug that could change the momentum of a game. His ability to play multiple positions and take on various roles made him a valuable asset to the national team.
- Controversies and Behavioral Issues: Similar to his PBA career, Abueva’s time with Gilas Pilipinas was not without controversy. His aggressive behavior sometimes led to altercations on the court, and he was involved in several incidents that drew criticism.
A memorable moment in Abueva’s international career is when he headbutted Chinese forward Li Gen in retaliation for a foul during the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup. Li, who hit the floor clutching his face and writhing in pain after getting struck, would eventually get up, but Abueva would be thrown out of the game.
Abueva was also involved in the huge brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, which was one of the wildest on-court fights you’ll see in international competition.
- Fan Favorite: Despite the controversies, or perhaps partly because of them, Abueva became a favorite among Filipino basketball fans. His passion for the game and his unabashed display of emotions on the court resonated with the fans, who often admire players who exhibit “puso” or heart.
- PBA Rookie of the Year (2013)
- 8x PBA All-Star
- 3x PBA Mythical First Team
- 2x PBA Mythical Second Team
- 2x PBA All-Defensive Team
- Gilas Pilipinas National Team Member
- 1x PBA Championships: Abueva won the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup with the Alaska Aces
- PBA Draft
- Calvin Abueva was chosen as the 2nd player in the 2012 PBA Draft and joined the Alaska Aces team.
- 1x NCAA Philippines Championship
- 1x NCAA Philippines MVP
- 3x NCAA Philippines Mythical First Team
Calvin Abueva’s journey in Philippine basketball is a testament to his determination and passion for the game. His fearless playing style, versatility, and unwavering commitment to excellence have made him a beloved figure in Philippine sports, capturing the hearts of fans and inspiring the next generation of Filipino athletes.
Off the court, Abueva’s dedication to his family and his community reflects a deeper sense of purpose. His involvement in various charitable activities, like during the pandemic, and his efforts to uplift those in need showcase his heart for giving back.