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RJ Abarrientos returns home, enters PBA Draft


After two years overseas, RJ Abarrientos has decided to come back home.

The spitfire 5-foot-11 guard sent his documents to the PBA’s office in Libis, Pasig on Thursday—the last day for applicants for the upcoming 2024 PBA Draft.

For Abarrientos, it’s about fulfilling a childhood dream. Now, he gets a chance to step on the court graced by his legendary uncle Johnny.RJ-x-Johnny-Abarrientos-2 RJ Abarrientos returns home, enters PBA Draft Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

“This has been my dream simula nung bata pa ako at pinapanood ko si Tito Johnny,” he told Tiebreaker Times.

“I think this is the best time for me na tuparin yun.”

2021-fiba-oqt-belgrade-serbia-def-gilas-RJ-Abarrientos RJ Abarrientos returns home, enters PBA Draft Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo from FIBA.basketball

A product of Far Eastern University, Abarrientos has 11 Gilas caps under his belt. He played in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, Olympic Qualifying Tournament-Belgrade, and the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

2022-23-KBL-Season-Ulsan-Hyundai-vs-Daegu-Kogas-RJ-Abarrientos RJ Abarrientos returns home, enters PBA Draft Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

(C) Hyundai Mobus Phoebus

He also spent a year in the KBL, winning Rookie of the Year honors with Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, averaging 13.29 points on 34.4 percent shooting from deep, with 4.77 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.34 steals in 56 games played.

2023-24-B.League-Nagoya-vs-Shinshu-RJ-Abarrientos RJ Abarrientos returns home, enters PBA Draft Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

(C) B.League

He transferred to the B.League a year later with Shinshu.

“I’m really excited na makapaglaro at madala yung experience ko playing internationally,” added Abarrientos, who will play for Strong Group in the 43rd William Jones Cup.

With Abarrientos’ entry, the 2024 class just got deeper. But for him, it does not matter which team drafts him.

“I can’t wait na makatulong ako sa team na kukuha sa ‘kin, I’m very blessed for this opportunity and thankful sa mga taong tumutulong sakin on and off the court.”

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