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Rhenz Abando out to win NCAA crown: ‘Ayokong maging bridesmaid’

Rhenz Abando was one of many prospects people wanted to see enter the 2022 PBA Rookie Draft. 

After all, the high-flying 6-foot-2 winger is already 24-year-old. Moreover, he is a man amongst boys in the NCAA, averaging 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 assists so far.

But applying for this year’s draft never crossed Abando’s mind.

“Wala pa sa isip ko ‘yun. May isang taon pa ko,” said the native of La Union.

Abando only had one goal when he transferred to Colegio de San Juan de Letran – to win the championship.

His thirst for gold started three years ago when he was still at University of Santo Tomas.

The Growling Tigers were able to reach the finals during UAAP Season 82, only to be swept by Ateneo de Manila University.

Up until this day, Abando still feels the heartbreak.

UAAP-82-MBB-Finals-G2-ADMU-vs.-UST-Abando-4440 Rhenz Abando out to win NCAA crown: 'Ayokong maging bridesmaid' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  - philippine sports news

“Para sa akin ngayon, ayokong maging bridesmaid, ayokong maging runner-up. Ito na yung chance namin.”

In the Final Four, Abando made sure to not leave anything to chance, dropping 24 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. He powered Letran to a 77-75 win over Perpetual Help to advance to the finals.

NCAA97-UPHSD-VS-CSJL-ABANDO-3 Rhenz Abando out to win NCAA crown: 'Ayokong maging bridesmaid' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  - philippine sports news

“Para sa akin wala naman,” he said about facing Perpetual – a team he dropped two 24-point games on this season. “Kelangan lang talaga namin manalo para makapasok sa Finals. Yun lang talaga.

“Yun lang yung motivation namin, manalo para sa finals.”

Abando admits that he is not favoring either Mapua or San Beda in the other bracket, stressing that they respect both teams.

#ReadMore  Letran survives San Sebastian in OT to extend streak to four

Despite the uncertainty they face in the finals, one this is for certain for Abando – he will be back for Letran win or lose.

“Malamang sa malamang [hindi pa ko papa-draft] lalo pag mag-champion kami.”

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