UST unleashes Player of the Week Abando in surprising start to UAAP 82

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 09, 2019 11:43 AM
UST unleashes Player of the Week Abando in surprising start
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Just as UST has surprised the UAAP with a share of the league-lead with Ateneo, Rhenz Abando has surprised everybody with the immediate impact he has delivered all the way from La Union.

The first-year forward has risen to the occasion for the Growling Tigers, leading them in their opening win against UE and bringing big-time contributions in their rout of UP.

In making sure his league debut was one for the books, Abando claimed the season's first Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week award.

The transferee from Philippine College of Science and Technology in Pangasinan announced his arrival with a 22-point output, including five triples, in UST's 95-82 victory over the Red Warriors last Wednesday.

Coach Aldin Ayo, a proud probinsyano, had nothing but praise for Abando who, himself had to go from La Union to Pangasinan before getting the shot to shine in Manila. “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,” said Ayo.

“Si Rhenz, breadwinner 'to eh so when you have that player, 'di mo kailangan i-motivate 'yan. They're playing for their families and their community.”

Three days later, the Growling Tigers then sent a statement by taking some shine off the fancied Fighting Maroons, 85-69, where the 6-foot-2 forward provided a boost off the bench with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

In all, Abando normed 17.0 points, 5.5 boards, and 2.5 dimes in his first two outings in the UAAP - leaving no doubt as to why he was the unanimous choice by media from print and online covering the beat.

UST's rising star beat out teammate Soulemane Chabi Yo, the Ateneo pair of Mike Nieto and Gian Mamuyac, Adamson's Lenda Douanga, and FEU's L-Jay Gonzales for the weekly honor.

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