Filipino high-flyer and now-Korean Basketball League (KBL) champion Rhenz Abando could never have been so lucky.
Before his Anyang KGC forced a seven-game series against the Seoul SK Knights, the 25-year-old Filipino import was visited by his former team, the Letran Knights.
The Knights were in Korea after making a three-peat in the NCAA men’s basketball team. It was their reward for achieving such a feat, and they made it worthwhile—by visiting their former star player.
Former Letran coach and now consultant Bonnie Tan had a reason to fly over to Korea. In an article by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, we finally knew why.
Amid the sightseeing and the beautiful wonders of the country, the Letran team and Tan wanted to meet with Abando.
“Tinaon na ng team yung trip sa Korea habang finals nung KBL para i-meet up si Rhenz,” said the former coach.
They supported their former player, watching Game 5 of the series at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium. Although Anyang lost to the Knights, 66-60, meeting his former team might be the fuel needed to boost Abando.
In game 6 of the KBL championship, we have seen the beast unleashed.
Anyang was lagging behind the Knights by 15 points in the third quarter, and it seemed that they will be popping celebrations anytime soon. However, Rhenz Abando had not given up yet.
An extraordinary come-from-behind was achieved by Anyang to force Game 7. Abando and his team stunned the Knights by taking Game 6, 86-77.
For his part, the Filipino import was splendid, hitting 4 of his six attempts from the field. He recorded nine points and seven rebounds, including a four-point play that put fans on the edge of their seat.
The Knights failed to close the series and in Game 7, bowed down to Anyang in a tight overtime match, 100-97.
Abando was scoreless in Game 7, but the game of basketball does not revolve around just finding ways to score. He was active in rebounding, defending, and helping his team get that chip, posting three rebounds, two blocks, a steal, and an assist.