Even after University of Sto. Tomas bowed to Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday, Rhenz Abando's alley-oop dunk remained fresh on the minds of just about everybody.
In the fourth quarter, Abando ooped an alley from Brent Paraiso all while leaping over Blue Eagle Will Navarro.
"Designed play yun. Masaya akong nag-work naman," he answered when asked to react to it post-game. "Gusto ko sana sumigaw, pero narinig ko na yung crowd ng UST. Sila na bahala para sa akin."
Of course, the first-year forward's alley-oop dunk still eventually ended in a loss for the Growling Tigers.
Apparently, though, Abando was still a winner as he got some love - one pair of Nike Freak 1s and another pair of Jordan Mars 270s.
"Uy, idol, thank you ha," the La Union native exclaimed during his interview.
The "idol" he was referring to? Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena who was passing by.
As it turns out, Abando's gifts came from Ravena. "Binigyan niya ako ng sapatos e," the former shared with a big smile.
He then continued, "Nung (PBA) D-League kasi, after ng game namin sa Cignal-Ateneo, tinanong niya kung anong size ng sapatos ko. Ngayon lang niya nabigay."
Last March, the transferee from Philippine College of Science and Technology in Pangasinan scored 21 points to spearhead Ironcon-UST's 112-98 charge right through eventual champion Cignal-Ateneo.
Even then, Abando already had the respect of the Blue Eagles' top gun.
And now, the 6-foot-2 wing has only gotten extra fuel to his already burning fire. "Sobrang nakaka-inspire kasi pinapanood ko lang sila dati sa TV tapos kalaro ko na ngayon. Gusto ko talagang sabayan," he said.
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