For former collegiate standout Rhenz Abando, adjusting to a different style of play helped him understand the culture of playing professional basketball in South Korea.
The 25-year-old Abando said this after returning home to Manila following an eight-month stint in the Korean Basketball League.
“Iba ang kultura ng basketball doon. Sobrang hirap. Pero nakapag-adjust naman ako,” said the 6’2” Abando, three weeks after his team, Anyang KGC won in overtime, 100-97, over the Seoul SK Knights in Game 7 of their best-of-seven finals series. Anyang KGC went on to capture the 2022-2023 Korean Basketball League crown at the Anyang Indoor Gymnasium last May 7.
The title conquest gave Abando a chance to be back in the Philippines and join former Ateneo Blue Eagles Thirdy Ravena and Ange Koaume in receiving their awards as Collegiate Basketball Press Corps Players of the Year in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The awards were previously not handed down to them after the ceremonies weren’t held during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Abando, who was given a lot of ballhandling responsibilities during his time with the Letran Knights in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, was given a different role with Anyang.
And that was to do defensive activities and execute off-ball movement whenever he was fielded in.
This meant he had to move well without the ball effectively, to understand spacing and court positioning and know when and where to cut past an attacking player. Peter Atencio
“Puro takbuhan ang laro namin duon, kaya mahirap,” added Abando.
Back in 2022, Abando signed with Anyang KGC in the KBL to forego his final year with Letran.
Abando averaged 8.5 points and 2.7 rebounds on his first season in the KBL. Peter Atencio