Abando: I never planned on leaving UST | Inquirer Sports

Abando: I never planned on leaving UST

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:25 AM October 19, 2019

Rhenz Abando will have a lot of the spotlight on him on Saturday when University of Santo Tomas tackles National University in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Ynares Center in hilly Antipolo City.

The Tigers are hoping to boost their chances of tabbing the No. 2 spot in the playoff race, but that quest will likely be the sidelight in a game where tension will expectedly be thick in the wake of the poaching issue surrounding Abando.

Amid all these, the rookie sensation wants to make one thing clear.

“I’m committed to UST and I didn’t say that I will leave,” Abando said in Filipino in an interview with the Inquirer on Friday at UST’s Quadricentennial Pavilion. “I’ve rejected the offers a long time ago.”

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But even as he reiterated his loyalty to UST, a key team official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, detailed one particular school’s persistent pursuit of Abando.

The source said that one of the assistant coaches of that school would constantly talk to Abando and offered him cash worth more than P3 million, a house, a van and “other opportunities.”

“[It] began in October or November last year when we were playing in preseason tournaments because Rhenz was already playing for us during his residency,” the source told the Inquirer on Friday.

The source tagged an assistant coach of the school as the one who constantly communicated with Abando.

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“The coaches just told Rhenz that he can always say no to that assistant coach, but always be polite,” the source said. “It just so happened that the messages didn’t stop.”

And as the Tigers take on the Bulldogs, Abando wants the UST community to know where his heart is.

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“There’s just a misunderstanding regarding the issue, but I never planned on leaving UST,” Abando said.

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TAGS: Basketball, Rhenz Abando, Sports, UAAP men’s basketball tournament, UST Growling Tigers

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