UAAP 82: Abando is Coach Aldin's next prized 'probinsyano'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 04, 2019 02:30 PM
UAAP 82: Abando is Coach Aldin's next prized 'probinsyano'
(Photos by Arvin Lim, UAAP Media)

Aldin Ayo has always prided himself as somebody who made it big coming from the province.

Sorsogon born and bred, Coach Aldin made waves in Manila as he won championships in the NCAA and the UAAP in back-to-back years.

That provincial pride extends to his players as the fiery mentor had taken the likes of Cagayan de Oro natives Mcjour Luib and Rey Nambatac, Bukdinon pride Aljun Melecio, and Cebu product Santi Santillan under his wing.

Now in his second season in University of Sto. Tomas, Coach Aldin has a new pet project - Rhenz Abando who originated from La Union and grew up in Pangasinan.

"Si Rhenz, player ni Coach Christian Calaguio na teammate ko dati sa Letran," the multi-titled mentor shared. "Ngayon, grateful ako na nangyayari yung ganito sa UST kasi si Rhenz, he's very talented, pero alam din niya kung anong kulang niya at dapat trabahuin niya."

And in just his first game in the UAAP as a Growling Tiger, Abando already proved his coach correct, scoring a team-high 22 points, including five triples, and shooting his squad to a well-earned win against University of the East, Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.

In doing so, he showed just why Coach Aldin has always sought him. "Kahit nung nasa Letran ako, pupunta na sana si Rhenz then even in La Salle, kukunin ko rin siya. Itong batang ito, parang nilagay niya talaga sa dibdib niyang kay Coach Aldin ako maglalaro," he said.

Of course, UST's shot-caller can only relate to his 21-year-old forward who spent one year Philippine College of Science and Technology before relocating to Espana. As he put it, "Yung pagiging probinsyano, parehas kami ng background e. Naho-homesick kami sa pamilya namin at wala kaming ibang sasandalan kundi kami-kami lang."

He then continued, "Karamihan ng players ko, probinsyano so we have that kind of bond. Kaya anytime na kailangan ng kasama, kami-kami lang."

For his part, Abando said it was just destiny fulfilled that himself, a proud probinsyano, is now under the wing of Coach Aldin, another proud probinsyano. "'Di ko rin alam kung ano e. Siguro, pinagtagpo lang talaga kami," he said.

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