The Future of Rhenz Abando


The next time Rhenz Abando flies back home, he’ll not only get a much-needed rest but also the time to ponder what’s next for his fledgling career.

What Lies Ahead

“It depends as to where the better option is,” Abando told Manila-based reporters in Filipino shortly after sitting out his Korean Basketball League (KBL) club Anyang Jung Kwan Jang’s third place finish in the East Asia Super League here on Sunday.”

Abando’s two-year contract with the South Korea outfit is due to expire after the KBL season, and his decision could be the most anticipated among Filipino players plying their trade in the KBL or in Japan’s B.League instead of staying home and play for a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) ballclub. But Anyang seems to have no reason to let Abando go, given the way he has performed since opting to skip his final year of eligibility at Letran to turn professional on foreign shores.

“They still have the rights to me, so there’s still a strong possibility of me coming back to Anyang,” he said.

The Journey Ahead

Abando and the Red Boosters flew back to Anyang hours after their 78-76 win over the Jeremy Lin-less New Taipei Kings to claim the purse of $250,000 (roughly P13.9 million) for their third place finish. They were eliminated in the semifinals by fellow KBL side Seoul SK Knights. Seoul was facing Yuki Togashi and the Japan B.League heavyweight Chiba Jets for the title and $1 million at presstime.

The 25-year-old from Santo Tomas, La Union failed to see action in the third place game after playing the semifinal despite still in the process of being given a clean bill of health after being sidelined for two months with a spinal injury. Abando had 11 points, three rebounds and one block in Friday’s 94-79 loss to Seoul, playing 20 minutes off the bench. But Abando admitted forcing himself to play to both provide more cover for the Red Boosters and give the local crowd the chance to see him flaunt the skills that made him one of Philippine basketball’s success stories. He was noncommittal regarding his future appearances for the remainder of the KBL season, already a lost cause since Anyang’s quest to repeat as domestic league champion had ended after being eliminated from playoff contention.

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