All hail RJ Abarrientos, FEU's 'King of the Fourth'
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 21, 2019 05:20 PM
RJ Abarrientos just keeps coming up clutch for FEU - from the UAAP to the NBTC
Far Eastern University is the first wild card to advance to the semifinals in the 12-year history of the NBTC Nationals.
None of that would be true, though, if not for the heroics of RJ Abarrientos.
In the Super 32, he dropped all but five of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as they overturned a 12-point deficit.
Then in the Fantastic 8, he fired 20 of his 32 points in the final frame as they climbed out of a hole as deep as 14 points.
Afterward, head coach Allan Albano could only marvel at his top gun's big heart. "Ganun talaga si RJ. Talagang magde-deliver at magde-deliver yan," head coach Allan Albano said.
Indeed, Abarrientos has come through for FEU just when it mattered most.
Through three games in the national championship for high school, he has scored a total of 63 points - and all but 22 have come in the fourth quarter.
That means that in the clutch, the 5-foot-8 scoring guard has averaged 13.7 points all while hitting 10-of-15 from behind the arc.
With that, Abarrientos has become the Baby Tamaraws' "King of the Fourth."
Asked about the new nickname, he answered through chuckles, "Siguro, yung experience ko lang talaga yun. Halos every day na lang, puro basketball kaya nasanay na rin ako sa ganun."
He then continued, "Kaya ang mindset ko lang, ipanalo yung team."
And as he takes charge in his last games for FEU's Jrs. team, the 19-year-old is only hoping that his younger teammates follow in his footsteps. "Nung nakalamang ng malaki, nara-rattle agad yung mga teammates ko kaya iniisip ko lagi na bini-build pa lang itong team na ito, bata pa lang sila so ako ang kailangang mag-step up to prove na kaya naming manalo," he shared.
He then continued, "Sana, matuto sila dun."
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