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Calvin 'Clined

This isn’t about that famous fashion brand. “‘Clined” in fact is a contraction of a word. Much as we really wanted it to mean an increase, an improvement, an upward trajectory like—“inclined”. But, it’s the otherwise. And sadly, he really has “declined”. Of course the other part of the title, “Calvin”—we know who we are referring to here. And he’s been all over our timelines lately. Hugging the global spotlights for the wrong reason. Sadly, not the best of news we all wanted to hear.

This blog has been dormant for like six hundred and seventy-four years. Yes, that sounds pretty fakenewsly accurate. And it’s been ages since I last wrote something other than spiels for my son’s performance tasks in school. But now something just egged me to do this sh*t once again. I feel rusty honestly. And in basketball rust isn’t clutch. What really compels me to dump words here is because of Calvin Abueva is all over our newsfeed just recently. And I realized, it’s also about Calvin Abueva that my very first blog post was all about. Perhaps just the right time to start the habit once again, no matter how intermittent and not-so-frequently. Or maybe sentimental. So this feels like some “first” once again after a very long hiatus from this vastness of internet space.

But this one feels so different than the very first one. This one feels really a “decline” from the pedestal of sorts that we have Abueva enshrined onto. A far cry from this blog’s maiden entry with a similar punny title, “Calvinized Iron”. This recent one feels some kind of melancholy and lamentation.

We all hoped he moved up even higher after having reached career milestones most especially after being chosen to don the national colors. But then there were some series of downhills in his own personal timeline. He got hit badly by a FIBA ban after that embarrassing brawl with Australia (now these Australians could not let this thing go unnoticed).

Have we seen the last days of him wearing Gilas? Perhaps. Swapped jerseys in the PBA. And then recently the tussle with a female fan and that murderous clothesline on import Terrence Jones. Two very disturbing incidents in a span of perhaps just three days which cost him an indefinite ban in the league. Talk about losing a very high-paying livelihood. That surely suck big time! Taking away something from you that you love doing day in and day out. 

We always perceived him to be tough. A fighter. An epitome of an underdog—most Filipinos can relate to. Especially during moments of defeat in our daily struggles. When bullies rule our corporate world. Or employers enslave us and threaten our very own dignity. He inspired us to never back down. To stand up and fight. And to never cower in face of fear and everyday challenges.

But everything isn’t all about brute force. Everything isn’t about “beasting” and wearing a tough mask. The taming of our beasts—or the evil within—is the real task at hand. And it takes a lot of self-awareness, courage and deliberate will to overcome the compulsions. In this age of “trolls and propagandism” especially online where we find ourselves gathered most of the time, we need to withstand even the slightest of provocations. This is where we are truly tested—our composure, our calmness and rationality in face of people who intend to sow anger, confusion and falsehood. Or how about taming that urge upon seeing scantily clad human beings perhaps? Gone are the days when “provocations” card work like magic when getting away with things.

It was an unfortunate yet fateful Sunday game between Phoenix and TNT. I was hoping for a good game to watch to cap the weekend and prepare for next day’s usual suspects: laundry, dishes, babysitting, and all! It was even more frustrating to see people celebrate such savagery like it was the right norm. We read comments like “we don’t just back down to foreigners, that guy deserved the hit!” We could just shake our heads more in disbelief as we know that we haven’t really stood up before the biggest foreign bully that threatens our fishermen, our rich oceans getting robbed of clams and other precious resources. Or how about losing more of our islands and yet we get to never retaliate in a Calvin Abueva fashion! Have people been desensitized already by the recent killings, lies and upfront violence at all forms. I wish not. May we remain hopeful that it doesn’t end that way. Same way with Calvin’s fate. We believe he has the talent. His motor is just tremendous as he hussles on court each time he plays. He needs to steer his way back. And that we all are excited to see. It could mean a tough journey looking down deep, repairing whatever deep-seated issues he needed to face. This is his biggest task in his own basketball court by far. And we all want to see him not decline this challenge. We all want to see him succeed.

... follow @labapilipinas on twitter for some sports laundering!


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