Chito Victolero on Calvin Abueva: ‘We just need to talk to him again’

Calvin Abueva’s volatile behavior continues to be a problem for the Magnolia Hotshots, according to coach Chito Victolero.

The team now trails 0-2 in their playoff series against San Miguel after losing two straight games for the first time this season.

Victolero has tried talking to Abueva after both losses, hoping to get him to control his emotions and focus on playing basketball. However, Abueva got involved in more on-court incidents in Game 2 that even went viral.

“We just need to talk to him again,” said Victolero. “We need to (talk to him) because sa personal fouls niya nalalagay din yung team namin sa penalty. So I think we just need to be better on that and I think he needs to be better at that.”

Victolero refused to discuss specifics, wanting to direct attention to the team’s overall issues. But Abueva committed unnecessary fouls, including an unsportsmanlike foul and a technical foul after jawing with SMB head coach Jorge Gallent. Victolero benched him for the rest of the game as a result.

Abueva’s volatile temper has been an ongoing concern, and Victolero previously talked to him after Game 1 about how his antics were affecting the team.

Now down 0-2, Victolero still believes Abueva can positively impact the team if he contains his emotions, avoids distractions, and focuses on playing team basketball.

“He’s a veteran. So bawi na lang siguro,” said Victolero.

But it’s a big challenge for the notoriously hot-headed Abueva.

Victolero is still hopeful, but his patience seems to be running out as Abueva’s behavior continues to hurt the team. Getting Abueva to control himself and play smart basketball may be the only small chance they have left to turn the series around.

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