ANTIPOLO — Rhenz Abando just had one of the most tumultuous weeks in his life.
Everything started when the rising star did not even make the UST Growling Tigers’ bench when they faced and defeated the UP Fighting Maroons.
When asked, UST head coach Aldin Ayo said, “Right now, I’m not going to comment regarding that.” That then set the league ablaze with non-stop rumors, until reports came out that some of the league’s member schools are actively trying to recruit him.
Almost immediately, however, UST clarified that the player in question had spoken to Ayo and school officials to reaffirm his commitment to the school beyond Season 82.
The Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan native has clearly had a whirlwind few days, so just being on the court again came as a relief for him. He contributed nine points and five rebounds against the NU Bulldogs, Saturday afternoon.
“’Di ko ma-explain eh. Nandun ‘yung part na masaya, nandun ‘yung part na malungkot kasi nga, ‘yung mga side comment na ‘di maganda, ‘di nakatulong. Nandyan naman ‘yung mga teammate ko, sinasabihan nila ako na parang walang nangyari,” shared Abando after UST’s 88-73 win over NU.
“Sabi nila, kumpyansa lang, ‘wag mo na intindihin ‘yung mga nangyari, mga sinasabi. Kumpyansa lang. Ramdam ko naman sila since nung una pa lang. Same lang naman.”
Whenever difficulties in life arise, it is always the people closest to you that come around to help you get through it. In Abando’s case, he had the help of legendary UST student-athlete Sisi Rondina to overcome this ordeal.
He shared, “Maraming-maraming salamat din kina Sisi kasi sinusuportahan nila kami. Mas lalong nakakamahal ‘yung UST dahil sa ganyan suporta, mas lalong nakaka-boost ng energy dahil sa kanila.
“O, dito lang ako hanggang matapos ang collegiate career ko. Apat na taon pa!”
Ultimately, this is one episode that Abando can’t wait to move past. After all, it has become nothing more than a distraction for him, his family, teammates and the UST faithful. This is also an incidents which he will simply charge to experience.
“Hindi ito ‘yung pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan ko kasi mas grabe pa ‘yung pinagdaanan ko nung nasa probinsya pa ako eh – financial problem, ganun. Itong nangyaring ‘to, ‘di ako nahirapan kasi nandyan lang ‘yung mga teammate ko, nasa likod ko lang.”
For Abando, this incident should be well and truly over. If there is any silver lining to all this, it is that it will make him a wiser, better, and stronger person.
“Yung mga pinagdaanan ko nung bata ako, mas tumibay ako dun, so parang wala na lang din ‘to.”